Franklin schools a shadow of their former selves

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 20, 2008

To the editor:

As I write this, I reminisce about the battles that I fought on the diamond and fields as well as the goals that I obtained in the classroom.

Many of you, Franklin alumni, who are reading this can relate to the same feeling that I have had representing the blue and gold.

Pride, dedication and tenacity. These were the words that my former coaches and teachers used frequently to motivate and to inspire us to represent it: The Bronco.

However, after returning to my alma mater as an employee and coach, the colors and Bronco symbol will forever remain tarnished in my mind.

Through my two-year tenure as an employee of Franklin City Public Schools, I’ve encountered and witnessed many situations and events that were very unprofessional and unbusinesslike.

This used to be a system that prided itself on its image, and was a model for other systems. However, this is now a system that prides itself on reprimand and deception rather than collaboration and/or motivation.

The same administration that cut jobs directly in the school level because the budget would support salaries in 2007 created two Central Office positions. A system that is micromanaged to the point that building-level principals are not needed because of the dictation that takes place.

A system that interprets rules and regulations differently for each employee depending on who you are and who you know. A system that is steadily pushing local educators away because of lack of support and appreciation for their efforts. A system where deception and ruse heavily outweigh professionalism, and teachers’ opinions and input are not valued.

A system that needs an elected board so the concerns of

the citizens and community will actually be considered and not tabled. The school seal, which displays the logo “Children First,” draws bewilderment because 75 percent of the graduating classes for the past few years have or are trying to enter the blue collar workforce.

However, these students have very few opportunities in this system to learn or achieve employability skills because of a lack of vocational classes, especially the male population.

The shops at Franklin High School where I

and many other alumni learned many hands-on skills now lay dormant because of “lack of funding.”

Yes, Franklin City Public Schools is a mockery of what it used to be. The demographic makeup of the population has changed over the years, and the curriculum and course offerings need to be revised to incorporate a more diverse selection of classes to meet the demand of the student population.

A total new direction and attitude need to be incorporated if this system is going to ever prosper again.

Parents, residents and business owners, it’s time for you to get involved in the decision making process of this system. The students that this division is producing will be your future employees and taxpayers.

Walt Flythe

Franklin, FHS Alumni