As a parent of a fourth-grader and a third-grader at Isaac Dickson Elementary School, I was extremely disappointed to read some of the comments made by it's principal, Brad Johnson [“Building Knowledge,” Feb. 27 Xpress].
He refers to the possibility of a brand-new school as, "Kind of a centerpiece for Asheville."
A school needs to be safe, functional and an environment where children can learn, grow and thrive. It is not a fountain, monument or table-setting — so it's certainly not a "centerpiece."
Then, when asked about the current condition of the school, he states that the grounds lack the safety of a fence buffering the students from a nearby homeless encampment. What! Is there a homeless conspiracy to abduct our children that I'm not aware of? Children need to be taught to be cautious of all strangers, and not just the ones who cannot afford downtown real estate and may not look presentable enough for people like Brad Johnson.
We want our educators, particularly our leaders in education, to teach empathy, compassion and tolerance. A physical, spiritual or mental wall is not the answer. There is no doubt that the school and the legacy of Isaac Dickson are moving forward toward a bright and exciting future. The question is, are the right people in place to lead our children in that journey?
— Radix Y. Faruq