I read with interest the series of articles on the Clairton School District and the city of Clairton ("The Pride of Clairton," Nov. 21-24). The spirit of the students, coaches and staff of the high school represent the spirit of the community. I am a 1966 graduate of Clairton High School. The school has produced physicians, lawyers, a college president, teachers, professors, military officers and many others. It is a proud school in a proud community
The plight of Clairton is the result of the decline in heavy manufacturing in the United States and the marginalization of the towns that housed those plants. The system of public education in Pennsylvania has further diminished these communities.
In 1984, the school district was declared financially distressed and the management was assumed by the commonwealth. I represented the district at that time. The district followed the prescription given by the commonwealth, closed all but one school building and now operates a K-12 building.
As an article noted, despite a significant number of student athletes going to college, the district is in danger of being taken over by the state and the students cast asunder.
Attention must be paid to these communities and these schools which provide identity and purpose to the lives of the families that live there. The drive to marginalize and eliminate them is the tragedy of our times.
Clairton High School molded many lives and careers. Those graduates do not forget that. In the words of Daniel Webster in the Dartmouth College case, "It is, sir, as I have said, a small college. But yet there are those who love it."