I want to publicly give a huge “thank you” to Mrs. Yancey for speaking out about the closing of Cluster Springs Early Learning Center. Thank you for trying to save this beloved school. 

The superintendent and the school board have made a very poor decision. The closing of this school is going to cost the school system valuable federal money, and they will not see the substantial savings that they are claiming. 

I am heartbroken, and I know several who were looking forward to the experiences in this unique family school setting; now they will not be sending their children to pre-k because they do not want them with the older children. 

I know there will be students there, but many will not send their pre-k children due to negative experiences they have already had at the larger schools. 

It is sad the current superintendent was applauded in his last place of employment for increasing the preschool program in that district, yet here in Halifax, recent actions will severely decrease the enrollment maybe even as soon as next year. 

My heart is broken for all the employees at the school. Will they all have jobs, or will some of their positions be eliminated? The quality of personnel in that building was amazing, and now it has been destroyed. I want them all to know they are in my thoughts and prayers.

I would also like to know why we have recently conducted a job fair, yet the board has chosen to eliminate seven teaching positions. If you are eliminating positions why do you need to hire? This doesn’t quite make sense to me. 

There is too much unfairness in this school system and too much inequality, and it is going to be difficult to keep and maintain quality teachers. Until we improve the morale, there is not much hope in getting excellent recruits.

Also, Chromebooks were recently purchased for an elementary school; parents received notification that they would be responsible for any damages if tablets were not returned in the same condition as they were received at the end of the year. This is not fair to hold financially strapped parents accountable for kindergarteners and elementary grade level students who may damage tablets. 

I can see if it is total negligence or intentional destruction, then by all means the parents should pay; but just for accidents that are going to happen, this is not fair. 

Also, some were told they would need these for homework; please, people remember that not all parents have access to internet. It is important that we still have books and hand-outs to give to those students so that their assignments can be completed. 

People please be aware that we are living in perilous times, and we must face the fact that at some point the power grids, all computers etc. could fail, and our children should be taught how to live in a world that will require pen and paper. Look at what has happened in Puerto Rico; no one is exempt from catastrophes. 

Also, opthamology studies have indicated that children’s time be limited on devices like these due to eye-strain which can cause long-term irreparable damage.

There have been lots of illnesses going around this school year, and I want to encourage this new board to re-evaluate their attendance policy. 

If a parent fears being taken to court because a kid misses beyond five days first semester and five the second semester, they are going to send students to school sick. 

This policy needs to be revisited and changed to help keep our schools healthy and germ free. Students’ parents need to feel they can keep them home without punishment. I understand attendance is extremely important, but if they are sick with flu, fevers and stomach viruses, etc., they should be kept home without fear of repercussions.

Dotti Womack lives in ED-7 and is a resident of Virgilina.