I always track the news from my hometown, and the news always seems to be bittersweet. As in, many articles (if not about burglary) are about things I remember fondly – like Pinkerton Academy where I graduated from in 2001. The home of the Astros. I read this article about my high school, and it was pretty cool. Apparently Derry enrollment is decreasing rapidly, and seeing the trend, the Trustees want to bring in more students from other towns to make up the loss in revenue and stave off the chance that the school would need to cut out programs. I imagine with the new Freshman Center and the Fine Arts Center, which have been built or are being built after I graduated, they need to keep income stable. Makes sense.
So what is crazy? Read to the bottom of the article above. When asking other towns to increase the number of students who can attend Pinkerton, a town official in Hampstead, NH says,
“I hear that 3,100 is where you want to fill it to, but is there any guarantee that in four or five years other trustees wouldn’t like to recruit kids from Saudi Arabia and put it up to 3,400 or 3,500?” asked [person, see article for name], assistant superintendent for Hampstead and Timberlane Regional school districts. “By giving up that cap, is there any protection for the size of the school?”
The last part is normal. The first part, I feel bad saying, is crazy, as in Crazy. Besides the fact that the school has been as big as 3,400 regularly until recently, it doesn’t seem like such an issue. And the comment about Saudi Arabia, besides being xenophobic, has no precedent since Pinkerton traditionally contracts with nearby towns – not Arabic monarchies in the middle east. Lastly, Pinkerton has a history of being a smart institution with amazing foresight that has grown the school greatly. My experience 10 years ago at the school prepared me for any college I wished to attend, and it happens I was over-prepared considering how under-prepared my peers were Freshman year.
So what am I saying? (1) How does a comment like this get inserted into the debate? It is crazy. (2) Why is this comment news? Is this the strongest counterpoint made? Or is the reporter just unable to contact the rational source. I suppose there is crazy news everywhere, but I’m just surprised at how strange things get. Maybe I’ve been away from Derry, NH too long.