Published 8-24-2004

I spent eight years on the Duluth School Board pushing for a second entrance to Central High School. I was prompted by a letter from a Central student who pointed out the danger of relying on a single, twisty, steeply inclined entrance. It seemed like such an easy problem to solve especially since an unimproved exit already existed. Just pour a little blacktop and presto! Unfortunately, eight years taught me there was no magic in being a School Board member.
The exit was almost built in my last year on the Board. We had delayed the project for several years because money was tight and we hoped to piggyback with a Duluth city street project to save money. Unbeknownst to us Blackman residents approached the City Council and explained that they were worried about their children's safety. Not surprisingly they did not emphasize the safety issue for the hundreds of Central students and staff. I was very chagrinned to discover that the City Council had killed the improvement without consulting the School Board.
I raised two small children on one of the busiest streets in town so I can understand the anxiety of Blackman parents. Nonetheless, our community has a responsibility for the safety of our school students too. The safety of a dozen Blackman residents should not trump the safety of hundreds of students and staff.
Harry Welty