Hey, you folks need to sit up and take notice this week. I got some answers to the questions I posed a week ago about the aimless property destruction and vandalism in our community. The answers are from sixth graders at Peabody-Burns Elementary School. They have done an excellent job addressing the issues. They are aware of what others in our community do to make Peabody a better place to live and they are quick to demand respect for those efforts.
A couple of letters did not make it into print because the students requested anonymity. (And I said a week ago that if they chose not to be published I wouldn’t print their letters.) Some didn’t care if their letters were included, but they didn’t want their names attached. Again, I can relate. Sometimes I don’t want my name attached to this column either and it has been a really long time since I was a sixth grader! I doubt I would have had the courage to put my name to a newspaper opinion page at that age … would you? Most of the kids signed a first and last name, but I chose to use only their first names.
I must admit here that I am impressed with their essays. My favorite quote is from a student who didn’t want his name attached to his letter. He says, “As for the bathroom, come on, it’s a bathroom! Who would want to vandalize a bathroom?” My sentiments exactly! Why would you bother? What kind of mentality stakes his future on trashing toilets? Right now, I want to put this kid in my will. He gets it.
Actually, they all got it. And I hope you readers are as pleased as I am that they took this business seriously. It is apparent to me that there was some earnest discussion in their classroom about responsible behavior, about being part of this community. I say good for them and good for their teachers for taking advantage of a community issue and making it a lesson in civics.
Whew! I feel much better about Peabody’s future. It seems there could be some competent leaders working their way through our school system and that is a plus. High fives all around!
Now I am going to shut up and let you get on with the business of reading the opinions of these students. Enjoy!