Letter: Where were challenges to Cardiff ‘park’ incursions before?

As a former Cardiff student/25-year Cardiff teacher, I find it hard to continue to stay silent about the ongoing lawsuits against Cardiff School by a small handful of neighbors.

I’m curious where the people behind Save the Park were almost 20 years ago, when the Science Lab and student bathrooms were installed within the “park” boundary. But then again, those changes to the “park” didn’t affect the views of some neighbors.

Although I hated to see my childhood school campus change, those who care know that the classrooms were outdated, the windows didn’t open, there was no AC, the roofs leaked, and while before the 1990s, having the public walk through campus on Election Day may have provided an opportunity for a lesson in civics, in the generation of routine school lockdown drills, that has felt much more dangerous in recent years.

I am sure that my childhood principal, Mr. Berkich, would have wanted the students of Cardiff to have the best education possible, in perpetuity. But in the 21st century he wouldn’t expect them to be learning on Apple IIe’s with worksheets printed on ditto machines or dot matrix printers.

It’s unimaginable that a group of neighbors would settle a lawsuit with a school district and accept a half-million dollars just to turn around three weeks later to sue again!

When the needs of our community evolve to the point that the letter of the law and the spirit of the law no longer are one in the same, it forces us to ask what is morally right? Should the students and families of Cardiff have safe access to student drop-off, pick-up, and parking? Should they have a playground that can be safely accessed and supervised? Should they have a school auditorium that can accommodate the entire student body safely? Or should they get to keep the exact playground that was dedicated to honor a principal several generations before them?

Save the Park, please look beyond your view. Drop the lawsuit and stop punishing current and future students, their families, the teachers and staff, the taxpayers, and the community as a whole for something that none of them had any control over.

Christa Stone
Cardiff School kindergarten teacher
Sept. 12, 2020

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