Editorial: Make your voices heard

January 24, 2014 

Attendance at the first town hall-style meeting hosted by Wake school superintendent Jim Merrill was pathetic. Garner parents shouldn’t make the same mistake their counterparts in eastern Wake County made.

A grand total of one parent rose to speak at Thursday night’s meeting at East Wake High School. That’s right. One. And that parent is a candidate for public office who isn’t likely to miss an opportunity to speak before a crowd.

Where those parents were is beyond our imagination. Garner parents will have an opportunity to attend a similar event. The closest event to Garner will take place Feb. 3 at Southeast Raleigh High School.

With nearly 200 schools in Wake County, it’s virtually impossible for Merrill to keep tabs on all the issues facing students and teachers at individual schools. These listening sessions – and they are listening sessions, so don’t expect a reply from the stage to your comments – give Merill an opportunity to sense trends and develop priorities.

To do that, though, he needs to hear from more than one parent. Garner students face many of the same issues other schools do. Student assignment has impacted Garner’s schools. Resources – always in high demand – may be in particular shortage at one school or another. Let him know. Don’t sit on your hands and do nothing.

Far too many times we hear parents complain that school leaders never listen. Well, our sense is that Merrill is listening now. But will anyone from Garner be talking to him?

We often hear the comment that for many people, the greatest investment they make is in their home. We would argue that the investment made in our children is even greater, not only in terms of dollars, but in terms of effort, emotion, sacrifice and dreams and aspirations. As big as Wake County is, your opportunities to be heard are limited. Don’t miss your chance to be heard.

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