Editors of the Swellesley Report,
The School Committee has stated that an objective of their proposal for lights at the high school field is to achieve parity with other towns. This objective is misguided on several fronts. Wellesley has achieved higher sports participation levels and a higher winning percentage than other schools that have lights. An objective that strives to reach parity with towns who have inferior programs should draw the skepticism of every resident. But in a broader sense, it is incomprehensible why the School Committee believes that achieving parity is a positive objective at all. Wellesley does not have to be like other towns. That Wellesley is not like other towns is precisely why I choose to live here—if I thought another town did it better, I would be living there.
Additionally, by seeking parity, the School Committee is imparting a “keeping up with the Joneses” attitude which is precisely what we do not want to convey to our students, or fellow citizens, in the approach to policy. The School Committee should require sound reasoning behind its proposals, not some misguided belief that we are subpar to other towns and have to catch up. This particular proposal does not further the school district stated values of Academic Excellence, Commitment to Community or Cooperative & Caring Relationships. Specifically, this proposal does not demonstrate cooperative and caring concern for the community that lives close to the school, some who are young children, and whose quality of life will be negatively impacted by nighttime amplified sound, harsh stadium lights, trash, parking issues and traffic. It certainly does not promote academic excellence. To try to justify the negative impacts to the school values and the community using an argument that we have to be like other towns is irresponsible.
Please join me in rejecting this proposal and asking the School Committee to focus its attention on matters that will strengthen the academic skills of students and will achieve the values of its mission.