Parents should turn out when Wake Superintendent reaches out

January 24, 2014 

Wake County schools Superintendent Jim Merrill and his staff came up with a good idea. But so far, it appears their efforts have not been appreciated. At a public forum Thursday night, when parents and those from the community were given an opportunity to question and comment to the superintendent at East Wake High School in Wendell, only a handful of people showed up.

That probably doesn’t reflect a lack of interest in schools, at least one hopes not. Maybe for whatever reason the word didn’t get out. But there will be four more meetings, and it’s important that people show up, both out of concern for the schools and, yes, out of respect for a superintendent who is reaching out.

Parents have complained in the past that the school system office sometimes hasn’t been as responsive as it could be to their concerns. Well, Merrill is offering people a face-to-face chance to tell him what they think and to make suggestions. He’s doing his part, in other words, to open a dialogue. Now, we have to do our part.

There are four more chances: Meetings are from 4:30 to 8 p.m. There will be one Monday at Broughton High School in Raleigh, Wednesday at Panther Creek High School in Cary, Feb. 3 at Southeast Raleigh High School and Feb. 17 at Wakefield High School.

One parent at the East Wake meeting told Merrill, “This is the first time in 11 years that anyone has come out here and asked us what we thought.” The superintendent is asking. The least people can do is offer him some answers.

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