May 14, 2022

LETTER: New schools coming — respect them

Posted May 14, 2022 9:47 AM

Well, it’s been decided.  The people have spoken.  Our free right has been exercised.  What we live for — the freedom to choose as a democracy. Now what?

My husband’s class was the first to graduate from the current Hays High School in 1982.  When our daughter attended Hays High and we began going to events there, we were appalled at the condition of the bathrooms near the cafeteria.  It clearly looked like an act of vandalism that had never been repaired and looked as if no maintenance whatsoever had been done.  During the hype of the school bond, I heard a story about how some Hays High athletes vandalized the locker room after losing a big game. It sounded as if no one was held accountable – students or parents. Later, $10,000 was put into upgrading said locker room. Now, of course this is hearsay and I have no idea whether it is true.  Somehow, after seeing those bathrooms though, I believe it. To give a fair shake, there have been upgrades over the years that are quite impressive.  Though, if I am being completely honest, music has totally gotten the shaft in those upgrades and repairs.

I attended the “old” Hays High on 12th Street as did my husband, as well as my mother, who is now 89.  According to Wikipedia, the old Hays High was built in 1916 and parts were torn down and rebuilt in 1939.  When we attended the old building, I don’t recall maintenance being a problem. I don’t recall vandalism happening or if it did, it was repaired.  Everything was maintained and worked properly.  Everyone who smoked, smoked outside – no big deal.  The property was respected and taken care of, and it lasted through time – some of it is still standing and in decent shape for its age.  Minus the 12th Street Auditorium, which is a disgrace and embarrassment.  Luckily, the stars who shine on stage, shine brighter than the buckets holding the water dripping from the ceiling in front of the stage.

My point of this post is not to bash the decision people made, one way or the other, or to complain about taxes going up.  My point is simply this – something new needs to be respected and maintained.  Children and parents need to be held accountable if damage is done – whether they are a visiting school or the students attending every day.  If I am going to pay for schools that are being built or fixed up, I expect them to be treated as if you were walking into my house.  I don’t think that is too much to ask.  It should be known that they are owned, if not on paper, by the people, with our contributions as a community.  Administration must take their part very seriously in the management and maintenance of these buildings and hold anyone accountable who damages them.  Children should be taught to respect the property and take care of something that their own children may use in the future.  That is all I ask as a taxpayer who will now be contributing to future generations.

Jodie Wear-Leiker, Hays