Youngsville parents still concerned

Over 100 members of the Youngsville community gathered at the Youngsville Free Methodist Church on Friday night to continue the discussion over safety at Youngsville Elementary Middle and Youngsville High schools.

The discussion was more poignant given the threat received at the high school earlier in the day.

While four aides were hired by the Warren County School District last month to assist in the management of the autistic and emotional support programs housed at those schools, concerns continue.

“It is a program that is failing, not the children,” said Scott Nelson.

And the blame for that was largely cast at the school board and district administration.

“They are making our school a behavioral center, not an educational center,” said Kelly Johnson.

“The school board has put out their statement,” said Nelson, imploring people to attend committee meetings as a show of solidarity. “We need all of you to come.”

“We need to go to the school board and tell then what we want,” said Johnson. “We need to push for them to split this program up.”

Nelson pointed out that the most important time to advocate for programs is when the district is analyzing staffing.

“That’s where we need to speak up as a group,” he said. “You need to have your voices heard. The children are not to blame for any of this.”

Nelson added that the district is looking at bringing an intensive treatment program for the most severe emotional support cases to the two western attendance area schools.

A representative from a cyber-charter school was also on hand to address the group.

The representative, Laurie Sheriff from the Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School, outlined their offerings.

While cyber-charter schools are K-12 public schools open to all students, Sheriff noted repeatedly that, “it’s not for every student and each student is different.”

She said students often need to be self-motivated, be willing to try their best and have parental support to be successful.

Nelson said that the intent of bringing the representative was, “just giving an option.”

The group is also in the early stages of seeking to put forth a candidate for school board.

“We really need to have a voice on the school board,” Johnson said.