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Drama Trauma

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Kjeld Lyth, the axing of whose drama program was featured in a recent NCJ ("Re-imagining CR," April 11), sent a message of farewell to the CR community, which I summarize here:

"... I have been teaching here with unyielding passion, since many of you were children. ... There has not been a single word of gratitude from on high, or any acknowledgement whatsoever of my 34 years of devoted service. ... To me, this is a reflection of a management style that exhibits not only indifference and arrogance towards employees ... but an unconcern about the wreckage they leave behind. ... For many years now, this institution has been absent of joy, creativity or positive momentum. ... We must resist the corporate mentality of the bottom line above all else. ... The value of education, and valuing those who offer it, must always be the goal."

Kjeld's words toll like a bell on a tower sinking under the waves. They resonate with those of Dave Grant whose recent NCJ letter (May 9) lamented the demise of the Historic Preservation and Technology Program (HPRT). Dave used skills acquired in that program to restore the beloved 19th century Chambers farmhouse out here in Petrolia.

Both grieve for public education, the passing to future generations the gift of our collective culture, without which democracy cannot function. Perhaps the lives of us parents, grandparents and community members have become so desperate and hectic that we must endure the corporate takeover of our children's futures being rammed down our throats.

It's happened before. I'm reminded of the old photographs we've all seen, of unsmiling Native American children, dressed in uniforms and lined up on the steps of the missionary schools. I can easily re-imagine the wreckage they left behind.

Ellen Taylor, Petrolia


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