‘Ghetto’ school comments way off base

While trying to make a point on where he thinks school funds should go, Marshalltown School Board member John Johnson called Anson Elementary School a school “from the ghetto” during a meeting this past week.

He said after the meeting that he was referring to the building and not the students and was upset the school administration office building got attention and not Anson.

We believe any characterization of a school in Marshalltown as a “ghetto” school is way off base.

Yes, other elementary schools in town have been upgraded in recent years and Anson is on the plan to get some attention as well in future years.

But using those words to describe a school is not helping anyone, especially when staff are working hard every day to help those students at Anson learn – which is not easy considering the poverty rate of the children at the school.

Why try to tear down a school with words, when we all know that school is working for kids every day?

Johnson’s comments were immediately met with resistance by other school board members who took offense especially Anne Paullus and Board President Sherm Welker.

Welker called the comments “absolutely ridiculous” and said the administration offices waited for a long time for a newly-renovated space – after other school renovation work was attended to.

The image of Marshalltown schools has been getting better thanks to strong leaders in place and teachers who care about the students and the future of this town. Examples of this are the national recognition Not in Our Town is getting as well as awards of school staff members.

Let’s focus on the positive things going on while striving to get better.

In the end, that will help us all in the future.