Thursday, September 1, 2005

Editorial: School’s open

Published in the Current

(Sep 1, 2005): Scarborough schools started earlier this week, Cape schools started today, and South Portland schools start Tuesday, so be careful on the roads: Keep your eyes peeled for kids walking and biking to and from school in the morning and in the afternoon.

We wish all the students, parents, teachers, staff and administrators well as a new year begins.

Here at the Current, we have started off the school year with our Page 1 package on the first days of school that continues inside with coverage of the Maine Educational Assessment test results.

We share our readers’ interest in what is going on inside the walls of our communities’ schools all day long, in how they prepare students for the world beyond, and in the forces outside those walls that shape teaching and learning. We hope you will help us with our reporting efforts by sharing your thoughts, questions and story ideas.

Safety is also a concern, and we are glad school officials in Scarborough and Cape have found ways to keep students safe while also allowing two troubled teens facing criminal charges back into class.

School is not just a place to learn academic skills; it is a venue for learning social and interpersonal skills as well.

Incorporating those two students – and all students with troubles and challenges who can be included safely – into classes and the society of school can only help them grow as individuals and fulfill their potential of contributing to the wider society in productive ways.

Still time to file

Elections are looming, and in all three of our communities some races are shaping up to be quite competitive, while other seats have attracted little or no interest.

We urge citizens to participate in local government, by seeking elective office. Democracy does not work without the freedom to make a choice on the second Tuesday in November.

It takes courage to run and energy to serve, but the level of non-governmental civic involvement in Scarborough, Cape Elizabeth and South Portland is so high that it is surprising there are not more people who step forward, offering to participate.

Deadlines are approaching – Scarborough’s is Wednesday, Sept. 7; Cape’s is Friday, Sept. 9; and South Portland’s is Monday, Sept. 12. But there is still time to take out nominating papers, collect a few dozen signatures from friends, neighbors and colleagues, and return them to the clerk’s office.

Jeff Inglis, editor