Our opinion: Help for Youngsville

To say that a great many parents of children attending Youngsville’s two schools, Youngsville Elementary/Middle and Youngsville High, aren’t happy would be an understatement.

To say that the Warren County School District is facing a firestorm of complaints from those parents would also be understated.

Let’s be clear: last week’s incident of a truncated quote from a Youngsville High School student’s essay that made its way on social media and caused something of a panic is not related to a systemic problem that is occuring at YEMS. That incident is coincidental to the YEMS situation and could have happened at any time, although its timing is certainly troublesome for both the school district and the parents in Youngsville.

The situation at YEMS, is, in the long-run, a far more troubling situation, and the indications are that it was created by some poor planning on the part of the school district.

It is a question of numbers and concentration, numbers that include both students and dollars.

For right or wrong, the district’s administration and its board of directors, decided a year ago that grouping the district’s emotional support and special needs students in one location would save money and offer an opportunity to concentrate services to those students.

Unfortunately, the financial considerations at least appear to have beat the concentrated services to the finish line.

That is, the experience to this point in the school year at YEMS, with significant increases in violent student outbursts and the apparent lack of a cogent plan to deal with them, seems to indicate the district didn’t finish its homework before implementing the shift.

As a result, the district and the faculty were caught off-guard by a situation that should have been foreseen and prepared for by the district. The shift of aides half-way through the school year has been perceived by YEMS parents as too little, too late to ameliorate the situation.

And, we can’t help but agree with them.

It is apparent the school district shot from the hip on its shift of emotional support students to a central location and missed the mark.

What’s needed now is a plan to ease the problem of violence at YEMS for the protection of all of its students, including emotional support students, restore the confidence of parents, and ease the burden on existing faculty at the school.