If you have ever watched a younger sibling, babysat the neighbor's kids, driven the Girl Scout troop to a campout, raised children of your own or taken your grandchildren to Disneyland, you know how daunting it is to be responsible for the care and safety of a child. Multiply that one child by thousands, and you get an idea of the task facing a school district. Every school day, families entrust their children to the schools where they expect their students to be:
- Drug/tobacco/alcohol free
The ultimate responsibility for accomplishing this lies with the school board.
Thus, when the issue of a closed campus at Payson High School surfaced, it was in response to concerns. The concerns have several facets:
- Student drug and tobacco use
- Unauthorized campus visitors
- Afternoon tardy and absence rates
The Payson Schools Governing Board is not determined to close the Payson High School campus at lunchtime; your school board is determined to address these concerns.
A closed or regulated campus is one way to resolve the situation. It is a radical and prohibitively expensive resolution. Payson High School principal Phil Gille and assistant principals David Bradley and Dan Maher are investigating other solutions that will:
- Keep students safe on and off campus
- Maintain a drug and tobacco-free environment on and off campus
- Reduce afternoon tardy and absence rates
They, like the Governing Board members, take their responsibility for students very seriously.
No one wants to preside over a disaster. Board members must be pro-active, knowledgeable and dedicated. They must think globally as well as parochially, offer input, request information, research issues, make tough decisions, and protect the school district's priceless assets--its students.
A closed campus at Payson High School is not the issue. The health and safety of Payson High School students is the core issue, and we are dedicated to this purpose.