From: Amanda Kelley
It's Sunday morning and you open the newspaper and headlines mark the school district's proposal of building a new alternative learning school. On Monday morning as you are driving down West Fifth Street...you glance to your right, high school students, you glance to your left high school students. Why is there a need for a new building, when students aren't spending their time in school? Winona Senior High School has a closed campus; students are suspended for smoking, truancy, and other offenses. The real question I have is, "Why is this behavior condoned at an alternative learning school?
The ALC students spend their mornings on the blocks surrounding their current school, puffing away on their cigarettes and caressing one another. The afternoon is again marked by the ever so prevalent smoking corners and skipping the bus ride home to snuggle up with the boys. What's wrong with this picture? Everything!
First of all, how many schools in Winona alone specialize in adolescents outside of the Winona Senior High School? There are as many as three schools within our community itself that work with at risk adolescents. Here is an idea...combine the schools into one. As for the education behalf...teach! Don't give the kids an option; obviously it is apparent that these kids need structure. I feel the community would benefit from the structure rather than the freedom. I may not be a parent or a teacher myself, but growing up I was guided by a teacher, not a friend. We need to step up our Alternative Learning Center by including structure through teaching, not by building a new structure in which to house kids without a real rhyme or reason.