As a 1989 Wilkinsburg graduate, I echo the sentiments of many who find it sad and troubling what has become of the district, its students and the community ("Some Say Struggling Wilkinsburg Schools 'Too Far Gone,' " June 10). I don't know if there is any one solution or even a magical combination of solutions that can help Wilkinsburg in our lifetimes. What troubles me even more than Wilkinsburg's predicament is hearing the comments from teachers and administrators that portray a victim mentality.
To union representative Rian Crothers: I live in the Franklin Regional School District and have two children in its schools. Contrary to your beliefs, not all children in this or other suburban districts "go to bed at 8, and get up at 7, and get a shower every day -- get three meals a day." There is a free and reduced lunch program in the suburbs. There is poverty; there are lax, absent and abusive parents; there is crime, there are drugs, there are predators. Stop playing the victim and stop glorifying yourself for trying to save Wilkinsburg's children against all odds.
I also find it odd that Mike Evans, teachers union president, "acknowledges that ... archery, tennis and swimming are no longer offered." I wish I had known when I attended WHS beginning in 1985 that archery and tennis were offered! Unless Wilkinsburg started offering those programs in the 1990s at the same time it tried to resurrect Friday Night Lights at Graham Field, I don't know when it could have raised the money to do so. And the last time I swam at Wilkinsburg was at the old Horner Junior High school in 1984 or 1985. If those programs have been offered since, it's an improvement over where the district was when I graduated.
Just let it go. The Wilkinsburg schools as they exist now stopped being a part of the solution a long time ago.