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Deborah Coon: Time for Northampton to send children the correct message

To the editor:

I am writing in support of the override. Because the city has proposed this override with a sense of long term planning and the intention to work on the state level to increase aid, it is an easy decision.

I have worked for 11 years as a music teacher at the high school. But it is not only my program that I hope to save. I am most passionate about music and the other arts; but I am equally passionate on behalf of my students for smaller class sizes, a ride to school via the school bus, lower athletic fees and a multitude of other programs that we as adults enjoyed as young people.

Times are tough. There is no denying this. Yet I am still willing to pay more in taxes to keep our school system intact.

We live in a world of violence, noise, and callousness. Yet we also live in a world that is nurtured by the arts and creativity. When tragedy strikes we sing. We make art. We long for communication. After the marathon bombings in Boston, local music students performed to give solace and support to the medical staff, family and other community members most impacted by that horrible event.

School can be tough. An engagement in art or music or drama can make the day manageable. Music, art, drama, athletics, languages, math, literature, science all need equal footing in the curriculum. Some of our students will always have access to these creative activities. Their families can provide this for them. All of our students deserve to have access to the arts and the best education that we can provide.

Let’s live up to our reputation, Northampton. Let’s give to our children the opportunity to engage in the arts that we so value in this community. Let’s help get them to school in the morning and let’s help to get teachers in front of them.

I will gladly pay $250 more dollars a year to provide equal access to a quality school experience for all of our children in Northampton.

Deborah Coon

Florence

Legacy Comments1

Beautifully written. Clearly your years of experience working closely with students inform your perspective on this. I really appreciate your drawing attention to the fact that the negative consequences of losing these programs would hit lower income children the hardest. Public school is about leveling the playing field.

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