A Bond Issue, Because it Does Matter

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A Bond Issue, Because it Does Matter

Your Vote Matters!!!
Everyone should Matter

Your Vote Matters!!! Everyone should Matter

Your Vote Matters!!! Everyone should Matter

Your Vote Matters!!! Everyone should Matter

Summer Janae McGrew, Student Contributor/Opinion

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Dear Editor,

 

There are many issues that could be addressed in regards to the school district U.S.D 102 of Cimarron and Ensign Kansas, but the main issue in this current time and place is the bond issue that is proposed to add onto Cimarron High School. According to the KIDS committee, this will benefit many of the students in high school and the community. On March 5, 2019, I conducted an interview with Coach Greg Koenig, and I asked him many questions about the issues facing the school financially and how the addition will benefit the school in its entirety. When asked the question, “What problems do you see facing the school financially if the bond passes,” he answered, “I don’t see any because the wind farm gift money will pay for the project.” I asked many more questions to elicit his point of view as a coach and a teacher, including what his thoughts were on how this will affect the students and if the money was not being used for this purpose, what would he see that best fits the needs of the school. He was asked,“Do you think that with this project being implemented  kids will feel more pressured to join sports?” He answered, “I don’t see how the wrestling room and weight room will put any pressure on the students to join sports.” Then when asked, “If the money was not being used for this purpose how would you suggest we use it?” He responded with the statement, “As a coach, our football field and track are not up to standard in my opinion. . . if you go and look at the home sideline on the football field it is just sand and if the sand is not there during the season it is just a mud-pit. We stand in water ankle deep . . . we have a fungus on our field that keeps it from being green and that would need to be dug down at least 8 inches, replace the soil, and make it a sand and soil mixture . . . we, in my opinion, need a better track. The track that we have is just basically a painted surface that is not like most all-weather tracks, it doesn’t have the correct sponginess and really when you have weeds growing up through the track that is a safety issue. That is what I see from a coaching standpoint. . . there are things that need to be improved that aren’t even part of this bond issue.” He added, “I keep hearing that we need to add classrooms, but if we are going to add classrooms we will have to add teachers, but I’m not sure that we have the budget for salaries.” As you can see, he did not mention adding anything academically from his point of view as a coach. One of the final questions I asked during the interview was, “Do you think that Cimarron has become more academically or athletically based in the years that you have been here?” He responded, “I have been here for 2 years and I have not noticed it swing one way or the other.”

I also conducted an interview with a citizen of the Cimarron public, Dori Hilker-Ridge. This interview was held on March 3, 2019. I asked her very similar questions and a few different ones because her point of view is very different from Coach Koenig. I asked her about the pricing of the additions, how she believes the money could be used better, and how the atmosphere has changed since she went to high school here. The first question I asked her was, “Since you have gone to school here and you are now watching from an outside perspective, do you think that Cimarron has become more athletically or academically based throughout the years?” She responded, “When I was in school I do not think that there was as much pressure on the students to participate in sports. . . and now I hear that has changed. . .  that if you are not in sports you are looked down upon and treated differently.” Then I asked her if she knew the real price of the bond and she answered, “The total cost of this project will be 6.7 million including interest . . . If we were to downscale the projects to a more reasonable size without being wasteful we could potentially pay with cash and improve more and more gradually, over the years. . . but what is currently proposed is overly expensive and it doesn’t benefit all students equally, or even close to equally. . . .these are athletic facilities, no matter how you spin it.” One of the final questions I asked her was “If the money was not being used for its current purposes, how do you see it could best benefit our students?” She replied, “I think the students at Cimarron High could have more opportunities, we need to devote more space to other activities and make sure other activities are equally supported, such as band, vocal, and forensics. We could come up with ways to use the money to create enriched learning opportunities.  For example, I would personally love to see the debate team come back.” She added, “Our students could benefit from the money being spent in a more balanced way, not just on athletics . . . if the project were to be scaled down, we could give them that . . . we can do better.”

Regarding my own opinion on this matter, as you can see there are so many things being overlooked and not enough people engage themselves into the school system. This is coming from a current student at Cimarron High School.  I believe that all students, parents, and other members of the community need to educate themselves from all angles. Our arts programs are being shoved aside at the cost of athletics. How many professional athletes have you seen from Cimarron Kansas… none. The band hasn’t had new uniforms in roughly the past 10 years, but all sports teams have gotten 2 to 3 new uniforms in that same time. There were not enough uniforms to properly fit the band this year, so the percussion had to wear polos and black pants. I truly think that we can do better and the kids at this school deserve better. As a student at Cimarron High school,  I believe that we can do better, and we need change. Our administration needs to set better priorities within itself and start making students feel like their opinion matters in situations like this one. Instead of making the kids feel that they need to play a sport to matter in this town, I think we should be taking our own advice and start teaching students to become responsible, productive citizens of the changing world and stop worrying about how big of a gym we need to accommodate for our future engineers, leaders, doctors, and so many more.

 

Sincerely,

 

Summer Janae McGrew

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