“Let Great Falls Rot”

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Based on initial results, it appears that the school levy won’t pass, although the tallies are razor-thin right now. KFBB just reported that the elementary school levy has been defeated by fewer than 200 votes, and the high school levy by fewer than 400 votes. By the way, kudos to everyone who voted – about 18,000! – and to the folks who handled the election and counted the ballots.

It’s clear that there is a pretty even split in our community about whether our schools need more money. I suspect that if our schools were in true need, the vote would have been lopsided in favor of the levy, but as I noted earlier, many people in Great Falls believe that we have excellent schools that do a great job with their available resources. I’m sure that the time will come – next year, five years? – when our schools will indeed require more money, and I have no doubt that voters will step up.

Now, having said that, it sure is pathetic to see a local teacher post the following screed on the Tribune forums:

Name: forgotten_cenotaph
Posted: Tue May 06, 2008 11:35 am Post subject: Let Great Falls Rot
I would normally never post anything to a forum of this nature, but I just want to say that I am a teacher here in Great Falls. I’m a first-year teacher, in fact, fresh out of college and married. My wife and I thought this community would be a good place to settle down and start a family, but after the debacle of this election, we’re not so sure.
What kind of a town doesn’t value education? Isn’t it funny how the people who know the least usually think they are the very smartest? I read some of these comments and these people have no clue what they are saying.
Well the response of the people sickens me. Do you think teachers get into this profession to become rich? I did this because I want to help the kids. If this thing doesn’t pass, we’re definitely leaving and moving to Missoula or Billings or Helena or anywhere but here….If you don’t care about education, then Great Falls will keep losing professional, stable people. No more nuclear families, no more people with college degrees. Let this town become a haven for drunks and gambling addicts. You can all hang out at the Super Wal-Mart together, get loaded and complain how the schools are sucking the community dry happily ever after.

Wow. The arrogance is boggling: “What kind of a town doesn’t value education?” Whoa, there, Teach: just because we don’t throw money at it based on your first-year assessment doesn’t mean that we don’t value education. And the implication that our entire citizenry is illiterate, drunk, and lazy; unbelievable. To be honest, if this is your first year as a teacher and you’re already that cynical and ill-mannered, then perhaps you shouldn’t even wait for the final results of the levy: just pack up your stuff and move along. I’m sure that most parents would prefer that your attitude not rub off on the kids.

While the folks in Great Falls do indeed value education, we also value civility and respect – two things that his college education failed to address, apparently.

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8 Comments

  1. The teacher’s response to the vote kind of reminds me of playing Sim City way back in the day. You’d build infrastructure in your city and get annual reports from the department heads. If you built roads in areas that didn’t develop, the highway guy would say it was time to make cuts in city services. If you then made cuts to his budget, he would complain, IN CAPITAL LETTERS, that you were making a big mistake.

    This teacher strikes me as a capital-letter individual.

  2. Hmmmmm…an arrogant “teacher” who uses run-on and fragment sentences.

    “If this thing doesn’t pass, we’re definitely leaving and moving to Missoula or Billings or Helena or anywhere but here….If you don’t care about education, then Great Falls will keep losing professional, stable people. No more nuclear families, no more people with college degrees.”

    He must not be an English or Journalism teacher – at least I HOPE not. I’d hate to think our kids are being taught grammar by someone who doesn’t know how to use it properly.

    Aside from that, most teachers choose the profession because they love to help the kids – not because they want to make money. Funny how he seems to be concerned with just that, but protests loudly that he isn’t.

  3. Something is rotten in Denmark..other than bad english. We have a superintendent of public schools that is being paid a nice wage. Now is the time for her to demonstrate her ability.

    Think of it as an opportunity to excel.

  4. While I did vote for the levy, I can say that for the most part, my children are getting good educations here in Great Falls. The thing I find most lacking is good teachers and that levy was not going to pay for better ones.

    The greatest part of a “good education” in elementary and secondary school comes from involved parents. I have seen it regularly that children with involved parents tend to do better and are more responsible. While I thought it would be nice to have a few more extras, I certainly don’t believe my children will suffer academically because the levy didn’t pass.

  5. I reluctantly voted for the levy. I feel the district needs to show they are cutting back, like most of us are cutting back right now.

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