Letter: Student ponders future in face of referendum failure by Erin Clements
As a Rhinelander High School student and citizen, I have quite a few concerns if the school referendum does not pass. The Rhinelander School District has great potential, and many of the students do as well. However, if this referendum fails, it could put the entire school district, as well as the entire town of Rhinelander, into jeopardy.
When I think about my future, I wonder whether I will end up back in Rhinelander someday. If there won’t be any art or music classes for my own future children, why would I? The cute art projects like I brought home for my parents would not be there for my children. Neither would the holiday programs and other music concerts that are expected while in school. I don’t think it would be fair to deprive my own children of the creative parts of education.
I also question what would become of the town itself if this referendum failed. Despite our connection to Rhinelander, my friends and I have discussed this issue and no one said they would stay here if this referendum failed. It is likely that people with children will leave for surrounding communities that offer art, music, AP classes and extracurricular activities. Could it possibly be that they would move and try to sell their houses, but have no one to buy them? Who would want to buy a house in a town with a crumbled-down school district? The lack of citizens would eventually affect the Rhinelander businesses because they wouldn’t be able to attract potential employees or customers to the area. Rhinelander would soon be a ghost town with abandoned homes and buildings because no one would want to live in a town without a successful school district.
My goal is to go to UW-Madison. By taking away my AP classes and Spanish 4, I will clearly be taken out of the running. Other schools that have AP classes and all four years of foreign language will have the advantage for their students in the competition of acceptance into colleges. If others and I leave to attend alternative schools in order to achieve our goals, the cycle of decline will continue and Rhinelander will find itself in a continuous downfall. It is not just about the schools anymore. This referendum is so critical that it could possibly mean the demise of the town.
Thank you for considering the possibilities,
Erin Clements, Rhinelander