Letter to the Editor

Proud parent defends Blytheville Schools

Friday, April 24, 2015

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following letter is in response to a letter from William Pereszlay, which appeared in the April 18 edition of the Courier News. That letter can be found here.

To the editor:

I am a parent of students in the Blytheville School District. Mr. Pereszlay, I do not agree with you that the Blytheville school district needs revamped. Do you have any kids in this district? How often do you volunteer at any of the schools? Have you thought about being a mentor to a student?

I have a child in second grade reading on a fifth-grade level. She is one of the top readers in her grade if not the whole primary school. My child did not attend preschool so she did not know how to read before starting kindergarten. She loves school and is a straight-A student.

In 2012, my oldest graduated and was an honor graduate. She is now attending the University of Central Arkansas and taking classes to be a teacher. Wow, how amazing since this school district is so bad. How could she have ever had a teacher that would inspire her to be a teacher? She looks at some of the teachers in the Blytheville district as examples of what a wonderful teacher should be. She plans on being the most requested teacher and being a national board certified teacher. You should also know that the Blytheville district also has national board certified teachers! This class was offered over $2 million dollars in scholarships. Also, a young man that graduated from Blytheville was awarded a huge scholarship to the Naval Academy. When was the last time Mississippi County had someone picked for that? In 2008, we had another young man awarded a scholarship to the Air Force Academy.

My seventh-grader hated to read. When he entered the fourth grade, he told his teacher he hated reading and he would take an F. That teacher could not stand that idea and made it her goal to get him into reading. He loves to read now. She bragged on him at the end of the year when she handed him his award. He had a kindergarten teacher that made him hate school. Sad thing is you would have thought this woman would be a really good teacher.

My niece graduated last year as an honor graduate. Out of 18 honor grads, 12 were black and six white. So the kids getting an education are not all white, like some people like to say. In fact, the valedictorian was white and the salutatorian was black. This graduating class was offered over $1 million dollars in scholarships. Our high school has an awesome internship program with Kinder Morgan and 12 seniors were offered jobs when they graduated.

I have been to parent-teacher conferences and had teachers look at me and say, "You are not the parent I need to see. I never see the parents I need to because they do not come." My kids' teachers know they can contact me at any time. Teachers do not have a problem with you emailing them or calling them regarding your children. We just have some parents that do not put forth any effort to contact them. If we had more parental involvement with the kids, I think the grades would be better. Why should a child care if the parent doesn't?

Here is a little tidbit for you to ponder. On Monday night, BHS inducted 49 students into the National Honor Society. This class has the best attendance record and lowest discipline record at the school. This is proof that good attendance and positive behavior does exist in our school which results in achievement and learning! FYI, these students have the same teachers as those that fail.

There are doctors, lawyers, college presidents, judges, pharmacists, cops and teachers, etc. that have graduated from Blytheville. The education is there if a student wants it. No one can force a child to learn! Do you go to a restaurant, order your food and then wait for the waitress to feed you? No, you have to ingest it yourself! We have some wonderful teachers in this school district. Some teachers get to the schools early and stay late so that if a student needs help they can come in and get it. I knew of a teacher that stayed after school to help kids with jobs fill out their taxes so they could file tax returns. There are qualified, certified and dedicated teachers in this Blytheville district!

In case you are missing the point here: I am a proud parent of students that attend Blytheville Schools!

Carla Cassidy