Lack of forethought.

Many students and parents at Cranston High School West , the school once attended by Jessica Ahlquist, were shocked last week to find that the school is nixing the math team, the Academic Decathlon team, and the National Ocean Science Bowl team.

When a handful of people got angry, one of the members of the school committee, Janice Ruggieri, explained why these clubs no longer exist.

I know for a fact that this decision blind-sided the students from these teams.  If that funding has been running out for years and the school didn’t want to lose these teams, why did they do nothing?  I mean, it’s not like any competent administration could be caught off guard by a situation that was developing for several years, to quote Mrs. Ruggieri.  Forgive me if “Yeah, that money’s been running out for several years and we forgot to tell you, but if you can scramble to raise $2500 you can keep your clubs” doesn’t exactly convey a tremendous amount of sorrow.  The whole thing screams “lack of forethought” to such a degree that the administrators of the school must be either incompetent, apathetic, or dishonest.  In any case, there’s no way they get to wiggle out of a demerit on this one.

Perhaps the school could find $2,500 elsewhere in their budget to support the brightest, most self-motivated math and science students at the school had they not blown $150,000 fighting a legal battle that could not be won.  With the education of their students in the balance, the school board and the community of Cranston had the same problem then that apparently do now: lack of forethought.  I can’t blame them.  For a school that has said they can’t/won’t fund the students who are interested enough in math and science to want to do more of it, lack of forethought is a less grievous offense than lack of care.

And to the citizens of Cranston who wanted to piss away more educational dollars to lose in court on principal, over a banner that contributed nothing to the education of those students, where is your outrage now that science education is about to suffer at CHSW?  When you value religion so greatly over knowledge, you stand as a testament to how religion hamstrings human improvement.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.


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