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DEBRA BORGENICHT, San Juan Capistrano

As an educator, it is very frustrating when parents publish misinformation about public education. In a recent article, Kevin Pratt wants to open a new charter school in San Clemente. He states his reasoning as follows: needs for uniforms, no access to smartphones, respect and public service.

As a past PTA president, I attempted to have one of our public schools adopt a uniform policy. The parents voted no. The reason why we have no dress code is because parents don’t want one. The district has been threatened with a lawsuit from a parent over what their child could or could not wear.  Regarding smartphones, school policy designates that phones must be turned off during school hours. Students are given a Chromebook, so there is no need for them. 

I resent the statement that respect from teachers to students and vice versa, as well as with parents is “obviously a hit or miss.” Teachers go into this profession because they care about children and their success in academics, as well as being happy with themselves. Teachers treat students and parents with respect. If it is not reciprocated, that is on the parent.

Our school has many programs for public service. Students log many hours of public service helping those in the community and around the globe. Our students work with students at other schools to help with their learning and take on leadership positions at their school. Many schools have activities, besides sports, to build skills and expose them to opportunities. Some of the many programs are mock trials, robotics, agriculture, science academies, etc. 

Something else that many charter schools do not provide is special education instruction.  

I understand that some schools’ population is decreasing. If a charter school is going to take over a school site, then the charter school should have more students than the public school has currently.

I feel that Mr. Pratt is part of a political movement trying to take money out of public education. Please leave politics out of our schools. Students deserve better than this.

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