From an eloquent statement from the Lents Neighborhood Association Education Committee:
"It has been a heartbreaking several months as we have organized support for the [Marshall High School] campus. I don't have to tell you how amazing these students are and we are at a loss for what to do with the School Board, they don't seem to be swayed from this course to close the campus.
"We have one week till this decision is made.... It's a depressing situation for a community that has long struggled to increase livability to have their neighborhood high school taken away. The neighborhood association is commiteed to the success of thsee youth who will now have to travel further to schools they don't identify with and we will continue to support them even after PPS abandons this issue. There are intersecting issues of basic need, environmental factors, socio-economic status, language, culture and family structure that PPS is failing to include in their decision to close a local school (which for many has been a solitary place of safety and community). We need to continue to support the youth of Southeast Portland and encourage their resiliency through this tough time.
"This is an issue of social injustice. The voices of the community are not being heard, included or respected. THe Lents community has worked for decades to bring resources and assets to our residents. We have developed parks, transportation, public safety, economics and land use -- all structural elements that contribute to livability. But, with one vote, PPS will abandon the most important infrastructure -- the education of our youth. This is a blow that the community will never recover from...."
HOW YOU CAN HELP?
Contact the School Board NOW by calling (503) 916-3741 or e-mail ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Attend the following meetings:
Wednesday, October 6
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Marshall High School Campus, 3905 S.E. 91st Avenue
(The Board members will spend the first hour exploring career-related learning opportunities across the high school system and specifically Benson High School. Following, board members will hear public testimony for the duration of the meeting.)
Tuesday, October 12
Administration Building, 501 N. Dixon
School Board Meeting, at which the high school redesign plan will be voted upon.
Your support of struggling communities and their youth is appreciated.