Facheris voice silenced
As happy as all of us were with our last big meeting with the school board, when we were presented a beautiful new school and landscape plan, we need to be aware that changes may once again be happening. We will get our new school and we will get it on time. The school itself is not compromised and none of us would ever let it be so.
We compromised everything that we originally wanted - openness, a single story school and our historic trees- and asked only that they make it fit into our pristine environment.
After giving up so much of what we wanted to begin with, should we compromise the little we were given to appease us? We may be down to the roof and landscaping now, but the issue is much more.
Do we care about where we live and what happens to it, or do we believe that we are helpless and the school board should, and will, do what it wants?
We all understand that those that don't live in this community don't feel what we feel. They can't. We understand that for some this is just another job and another building. We thought we could make them understand how we feel, but it never happened.
The school board says it wants community involvement in schools and is working to find ways to make it happen, but what I heard was that no communities give so much input into their schools. I felt the resentment of our involvement.
Anyone who lives here and doesn't understand is truly missing something very special that you just can't find anywhere else, and little by little it is being taken away from us. To some of us this is about much more. I will never feel bad about fighting to maintain what I believe makes this the place where I want to raise my children and call home. How could anyone not expect us to care about the whole school? It is a part of this community and a part of all of us.
I was considered one voice when the committee didn't like what I was saying and a community representative when it suited them. I can no longer be a part of it. We all need to speak up for what we believe in or live with the consequences.
It may be too late for us, but maybe not for those communities that come after us.
Maria Facheris, Anna Maria Elementary School advisory committee chairperson