Guadalupe monument degrades
First of all, I would like to say that I respect the
diversity in our town. I understand and have reverence for everyone's religious
Something that really bothers me, however, is the new
monument of the Virgin Guadalupe placed at the cemetery recently. The reason it
bothers me is because they are assuming that we all believe and pray to her.
That is not true and to see something like that placed on public property is
very selfish and irrational.
I know many other people will agree when I say that having a
monument like that is completely demeaning and against our religion. In Exodus
20:4, one of the commandments says, "You shall not make for yourself any
carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven or above, or that
is in the earth or beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall
not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous
I am aware that the Virgin Guadalupe is associated and is
traditional to the Hispanic population, and since we have such a large Hispanic
community it would make sense to presume everyone worships her. Nevertheless, I
am a Latina myself and many others just like me also believe this is
unreasonable and absolutely degrades our religious beliefs.
/s/ Maggie Ramirez, Sunnyside
Mabton school administrators doing good job
I attended the meeting at Mabton High School Friday evening
(5-20-05). The main question seemed to be, why is Mr. Castilleja's contract not
It was explained every way possible that it is illegal for
the administrator to disclose that information, because Mr. Castilleja has a
right to privacy. However, if Mr. Castilleja wishes to release that
information, he is perfectly free to do so. I would think he has some
documentation that outlines the reasons his contract will not be renewed. If he
shows (the parents) that document they will have their answers. If he refuses
to show them that document, then they still have their answers.
I was in Mabton last week during school hours. I saw 20-plus
grade school children sitting on the filthy sidewalk with their feet in the
gutter, protesting this issue about the principal. It was a most disturbing
sight. These children are being exploited. It seems to me that if Mr.
Castilleja were doing his job, those kids would be in school, not out
protesting on his behalf over an issue they can't possibly understand.
The school board members have done a fantastic job for the
district with no pay and little thanks. They certainly don't deserve to be
attacked as they are now.
The teachers in Mabton are some of the best in the state. We
put five children through the Mabton schools and every single one of them got a
good education. Four of them went on to college and scored in the top of their
class. They are all productive members of their community, and they can thank
Mabton schools for the great beginning they received.
I have known most members of the administration for many
years and always found them to be reasonable, and to have the best interest of
the children as their top priority. The suprintendent is new this year, but
from what I have seen, she is doing a remarkable job, and doing it under
Being a superintendent, principal, teacher or school board
member is not a popularity contest. Each has a specific job to do and if they
are not doing it they are hurting the district as a whole. The superintendent
has the difficult job of seeing to it that the district runs smoothly and that
the children are getting a good education. The key word is EDUCATION, not
dances and BBQ's.
I fully support the administration, teachers and school
board to make decisions that are in the best interests of the district and the
/s/ Pat Schlegel, Mabton
Mabton conflict disheartening
Ten years ago I began my teaching career in Mabton as a
fifth grade teacher at Artz-Fox Elementary. At the end of that first year I was
looking through the class photo album with several students and happened to
remark, "I can't wait to share this picture at graduation - it will get a
lot of laughs!"
One of the students replied, "You won't be here for our
graduation. You'll be gone by then. All of the teachers leave Mabton. Why would
you want to stay here?"
Four years ago, I did leave Mabton. In my case, that student
was right. I was not there to see him graduate. I had moved on. My husband,
also a teacher in Mabton, accepted a job offer in Spokane and, after much
deliberation, we chose to move. During this time the comment of this former
student came back to me. I felt a great deal of guilt for
"abandoning" the Mabton community and the families that I had come to
However, this student was not entirely correct. There are a
large number of teachers in Mabton who have not left. They have chosen to
dedicate their time, love and talents to the children of Mabton. They are not
there because they were not considered for jobs somewhere else; they are there
because they would not consider jobs anywhere else. Mabton has become a part of
them, and they have become an integral part of Mabton.
It is disheartening to read and hear about the current
situation in the Mabton schools. My heart goes out to the teachers and the
families as they struggle to resolve the conflicts that have come before them.
As community members sift through the information being released by the media,
school board and school administration, I ask that they also take a moment to
pause and reflect on the following questions:
Who taught your child to read?
Who held his hand and walked him home after school when he
forgot to meet his older sister?
Who stayed after school every day for weeks on end to make
sure that your son didn't feel lost and confused during math class?
Who has spent hours worrying, planning and preparing lessons
to help your child succeed?
I am sure that your answers to these questions are the names
of many of the teachers and instructional assistants who have been working in
the Mabton schools for more than the last 10 years.
A few last questions to ask yourself? Why is there conflict
now? What has changed in the last year to create such strife for the Mabton
The change is not in the teaching staff, nor in their
dedication to the students and families. So...what is it? Who is it? What are you
going to do about it?
/s/ Lorrin Jurasin, Spokane