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Enough is Enough: Mother Nature wreaks havoc on education system

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

School daze: A condition that will soon be coming to a school near you. No school will be immune. It will spread throughout the entire Maine school system faster than students being dismissed for the day.

There is no known cure for it. In some cases it can be limited, although this year it is on track to reach epic proportions. This year’s students will be infected by the most powerful strain of this scourge: Mother Nature.

Over the past school year, Mother Nature has wreaked havoc on the steady, consistently measured flow of educational knowledge imparted on our students by their teachers. This educational flow is only successful if it is allowed to continue with few interruptions. However, this academic year Mother Nature has been exceptionally cruel to our educational system. There is still a chance Mother Nature may rain down another catastrophe upon us. As I write, a major Nor’easter is forming with the potential of hitting Maine hard.

But before we know it, Mother Nature will spring Spring upon us. Young, semi-formed minds will basically shut down. The weather will turn comfortably warm. Refreshing breezes, greenery and the chirping of birds will fill the landscape and the students persona in many cases will radically change.

Attention spans to lessons and classroom exercises, in many cases, will decrease sharply. Teachers’ frustration will rise as it becomes harder to keep students focused on their studies. Teachers will also have to deal with students who equate school the same as serving a sentence at the Maine Youth Center. Many of these students will cause disruptions in the classroom because education means nothing to them. At the end of their rainbow awaits a federal or a state welfare check.

Many students understand the reward of a good education. Unfortunately, just as many do not.  Sadly, these are the students that will spend the Spring disrupting classrooms and being disciplined by teachers. This will be to the detriment of those that want to learn.

But in the end, it will be the school superintendents that will take the hit. During winter they must assess each situation and make a call.  They, and they alone, bear the responsibility of keeping our school children safe. Sometimes you get it right, other times you don’t. Remember, until you have walked a mile in their shoes, who are you to criticize?

I want to thank the many people living in the Pettingill School area for their passion and hard work, which made your dream of a park come true. This park will be built by neighborhood people with very limited city funds. I believe that too much dependence is placed on local, state and federal governments when creating something to be enjoyed by the public.

Lewiston has the talent to design and build a park quicker and for a lot less money than if done by a government agency. With government funding drying up, this presents a solution that will enhance our quality of life.

When you hear someone talking about guts, hard work and determination, you know that they must be talking about Lewiston High School’s New England Champion Girls Cheerleaders. This is the third consecutive year they have won this honor.

In the Maine State Championships a few weeks ago, they hit a bump in the road, finishing fourth. But they put that behind them and rose to the challenge, handily beating their competition. So let’s have a shout out for these young ladies, who for the third year in a row have brought home the title and made Lewiston Girls Cheerleading a legend in the country.

Lastly, Lewiston had the honor of hosting NCAA Division 3 National Championship at the Colisée last weekend. The coaches and players enjoyed the old-style rink. All enjoyed the various restaurants and the hospitality of our area people.

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