Guest Column: Education activist speaks on night of school board vote on facilities plan

Editor’s note: Jane Hayes, of Watchdogs for Ethics in Education (WEE) and Rockford Educators Advocating Civil Treatment (REACT), planned to present the following poem at the Aug. 12 Rockford Board of Education meeting. The school board was to vote on a 10-year, $250 million facilities plan at the Aug. 12 meeting. The facilities plan calls for two new schools, 13 additions, and the closing of eight schools — Cherry Valley Elementary, Dennis Early Childhood Center, King Elementary, Kishwaukee Elementary, Nelson Elementary, Thompson Elementary, Walker Elementary and White Swan Elementary. Results of the board vote were not available at press time.

Bricks & Mortar

(Tribute to all the Minds Left Behind at

Rockford School District 205)

Bricks and mortar, sticks and stones

Can never replace a school or a home!

Constructing buildings with phony façades

When human constructs are so flawed

Excess spending, misled, unchecked

Staff and students lost, no more to connect

Educators know the pain of no relief

Because of all your erroneous beliefs

Bigger is better in buildings, classes too

So public education is what you undo

Is there no future for wisdom or intellect?

Is Rockford a true human disconnect?

For all the buildings you plan to raze

WEE believe your decisions are crazed

For all the buildings you plan to build

How many minds have you unfulfilled?

Human connections are left behind

Because of decisions, so bleak, so blind.

Rewarding nepotism with monetary gain

Principles abandoned, for this we disdain

Padding pockets with business greed

For this, our students have unmet needs?

Chicanery, unanswered legal requests

Our purpose clearer, WEE must protest.

For all the students you fail to educate

For all the staff you do berate

Next, we, the taxpayers, must choose

Leaders with more humanistic views

Bricks and mortar, sticks and stones,

Will ethics ever be what you hone?

From the Aug. 13-19, 2014, issue

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