Letter: Schools and a sense of community

At the town hall meeting discussing the Sagebrush transfer issue, representatives from the La Cañada and Glendale school districts stated that Sagebrush kids and parents should always feel “welcomed” or “invited” to participate in either community’s activities. Community leaders from both LCF and Glendale have repeatedly echoed these same sentiments to Sagebrush families. As comforting as some make think that sounds, as a parent of two young kids and taxpayer living in the Sagebrush area of La Cañada Flintridge, it doesn’t sound so good to me.

When you are invited or welcomed to join a group or community, it simply means that you currently lack ownership or a sense of belonging. As an LCF family, we should never feel that we lack ownership or a sense of belonging to our community, La Cañada Flintridge. But the current policy that requires families living in LCF to attend Glendale schools creates such feelings. It seems both LCF and Glendale always feel the need to extend invitations to Sagebrush families because both parties recognize the current policy is flawed. As communities, we can debate who may be harmed if the policy is changed. But, not up for debate is who is currently harmed — families residing in the Sagebrush area.

Also during the town hall meeting a history of the Sagebrush issue was provided to the attendees, detailing the many fights challenging this long-standing policy. These failed attempts should not deter but encourage us as a community, because it demonstrates that no matter the date on the calendar or the people in office, this policy has always been wrong. Either our current leaders will have the fortitude to correct this matter or they will leave office knowing they failed to correct a long-standing problem leaving the task for a future generation, because this issue is not self-correcting. There will never be a perfect time to make this change, but it is always the right time to do the right thing.

A well-drafted transfer plan was circulated to the community, which creates a win/win scenario by allowing families currently living in the Sagebrush area the right to pick their school district if their kids are already enrolled, financially assisting Glendale through this transition period and uniting La Cañada Flintridge. I encourage all parties to do the right thing by approving and implementing this well-drafted transfer plan. We need and deserve a clear sense of ownership and community.

John Womack
La Cañada Flintridge


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