Saturday, January 27, 2007

On Pooling Resources

Lynn, a coastal city nothing like Venice, has one similarity with the darling Italian city on water - a sinking school. That's right, Lynn's nearly brand-new high school, Lynn Classical, has parts of the school that have settled in the ground a little too far - and now the damage has to be fixed. It helps that the architectural company agreed to an almost ten million dollar settlement - but that still leaves the city of Lynn about 15 million dollars short. Furthermore, it does nothing to help the student body - which, in the whole scheme of things, is what's really important.

Having three cousins, two aunts and an uncle all a part of the Lynn school system in some capacity (be they students or employees), I've been privy to all the goings on. It appears as if Lynn Classical is no longer going to accept new students while construction takes place. I don't know how they intend to keep the current ones with major construction going on, but I do know where Lynn plans on putting the incoming freshman classes - at the old Lynn Classical, which is a current Jr. High. Some students will be going to Lynn Tech, which has plenty of room - but it s a technical high school, while others will squeeze into Lynn English - but the bulk of kids apparently are heading to a building that's quite possibly in worse shape than the new Classical, sinking floors and all.

All of this got me thinking. A while back, there were all sorts of rumors that Lynn would try to work with other towns in the area. They were going to try to send some students to towns and cities like Swampscott, Salem, Peabody, Marblehead and Lynnfield. I thought it was a great idea. Almost all of these schools have room for a few more students - so if some volunteers at Lynn would have parents willing to take them there, it would be an easy way to deal with the situation.

Of course, many people would be against it - and why not? In Massachusetts, it seems as though every town is out for itself. With no theory as to why, there really is a corrosive, selfish element in Massachusetts communities. People should realize that something similar to what happened to Lynn could happen anywhere, but they don't. Communities need to be willing to work together when difficult situations arise - they need to be willing to pool resources, like any company, family or set of friends would. Instead, Lynn's heading down the "going it alone" path - a path that, most Americans have come to realize, typically leads to disaster.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Try reading "A New England Town" by Ken Lockbridge. He describes the first 100 years of Dedham as a typical New England town. It may give you some insight as to why we are all so independent from one another.

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