To the Editor,
I am writing this letter pertaining to the school board meeting that I attended in Hancock County on Monday at which K. Joseph Thomas addressed the board on the subject of school bus relocation. Many interesting points were raised by Thomas, a concerned family man and father of four.
Thomas , a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq stated, that parking all buses in one location is a "grave error" having to do with security in the event of terrorism. Also, Thomas raised concerns about rockslides, inclement weather on state Route 2 and even early dismissals associated with the 19 Weirton buses being parked in New Cumberland.
Then there was the "concern for safety " that Superintendent Suzan Smith uttered in a previous news article having to do with having a fuel tank at the new Weirton Elementary School. Thomas' response: "If this is a concern for safety ...why do we have a fuel tank near the vo-tech?"
Thomas also raised the concern of Smith's intent for middle school students and high school students being consolidated to ride together on the same bus runs this coming school year. Her reasoning for this ludicrous idea - to save money. Could this be a direct result of moving the buses to New Cumberland? After all, any thinking person can easily see that this is an added expense to run 19 buses back and forth twice per day with no students aboard from New Cumberland to Weirton then back to New Cumberland.
Yet Smith would have us believe that she is saving us money. When Board President Jerry Durante was given all of these issues by Thomas, his response was, "We, the board, do not make these decisions. These decisions are made by administration," citing that Smith would be held accountable for these decisions and that if the decision proves to be in error that the board would react. We're to believe that the board at this time cannot see that Thomas' concerns are valid and in need of immediate consideration? We the parents, grandparents, taxpayers and just plain old very concerned citizens need to voice our concerns in person at the board meetings and at the board office by telephone at (304) 564-3411.
Also, we all need to remember at next election time that our current leaders do not have "our" best interest nor our children's in mind. As Thomas also stated, the petition with 907 signatures against this board and its superintendent speaks very clearly.
George J. Risk