I went to school in what is best described as being the edge of the ghetto. Recently, after years of work and planning, they finally took a wrecking ball to the rotting hulk of my old high school. Every now and then on Facebook, I’d check in with people I went to school with, and people who went to our high school in different years over the decades it was in service, and they’d lament the loss of the school, the new one that’s open, and how great it was to go to school there! Personally, I cannot say I am sorry to see it go.
Some years after I graduated, there was a news story where some teachers sneaked out pictures of where there were rats crawling out of gaping holes in the walls. When I was in school there, some parts of the school were barely sanitary. It was well known it was on the list for serious renovation.
Yet, people are sad to see it go. It’s a school, a building that serves a valued purpose to our community. They are not places to be held static by the memories of the alumni. They are not even places for former graduates.
Schools are places to teach children and adults the things they need to succeed in the world. They are places to even expand their horizons. They are places to meet the needs of the community now and in the future. Outside of a history class, they not places of the past. We need to stop pretending they are anything else.
We are in seriously bad shape as a country. In previous decades, we used education and schools to build our country into what it had been. We were the best in the world, and somewhere, when we forgot about our long term priorities, we let that go. Now, we’re suffering because of it.
I see the wrecking ball of North Miami Senior High and the new school that sits across the street from it to be a step in the right direction. We need state of the art schools. We need a renewed focus on educating children in a way that actually prepares them for the jobs we’re in desperate need to fill.
Then again, we need to rebuild everything about our country. Its unfortunate no one feels America is worth investing in.