Think of the kids
At the January 9th informational meeting in Wetmore, a school board member mentioned that a couple of towns whose schools were closed are now thriving (Bern and Corning). Morrill, Oneida, Woodlawn, Goff, Havensville, Soldier, and Netawaka are just a few of so many other small towns whose school closed that are not thriving. They are barely surviving. My dad remembers the days when Sabetha would graduate 70 to 80 students and one class even had over 90. Now there are only 48 to 60 students who graduate, and Sabetha is slipping closer to 2A size. In comparison, Seneca and Centralia schools are bursting at the seams with students. The way the school board talks about risk and issues within the district has a huge impact on our communities. Wetmore lost 31 students in the two years following the last closure conversation (2016-2017); Axtell lost 29 students. That’s 60 students altogether; lost because our small communities don’t trust the board to act on our behalf. Wetmore does not have all the fancy classes or clubs. One thing they do offer is the opportunity to participate in all activities– academic or athletic. As a Sabetha graduate of 2014, I still have wonderful memories of my Sabetha friends. Now I hear about fights breaking out in Sabetha High, law enforcement being called, and I’m heartbroken at what is happening at my alma mater. The bottom line is this, think of the kids. Wetmore students are thriving and doing well. 42% of the K-12 students are from low-income families. Sending the kids to different schools that are farther away will make it even more difficult for their families to be involved in their education and activities. Facebook pages show that Sabetha students are doing well in school (and we all believe Facebook!) even though some school board members are saying that Sabetha students are being deprived because of Wetmore and Axtell students. “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” Matthew 6:24.