Wednesday, September 26, 2007

This school's name isn't the only thing that needs rethinking.

The Kenosha Unified School Board may be rethinking what to name the new grade school on the old American Brass site.

Originally they came up with the banal name of Brass Community School. Maybe that's because they're consolidating two old grade schools -- Lincoln and Durkee -- into one new one.

Now some people in the community want it to be named after educator Mildred Brown.

Well, if rethinking is going to happen, maybe it should start with the location of the new school.

First, Durkee is a small school but located east of Sheridan Road, a busy and dangerous throughfare, especially for young children. But there are only two grade schools east of Sheridan Road and the other -- Southport -- is south of 75th Street on the city's south side.

If Durkee was to be rebuilt, it's only common sense that it should be east of Sheridan Road.

But that's if common sense prevailed. It hasn't.

The new school is southeast of Lincoln, another old, small school. If common sense prevailed, the school board would take a look at consolidating another old, small school -- Columbus -- with Lincoln. Consolidating Lincoln and Durkee doesn't resolve the problem of what to do with Columbus school.

Now here's the ultimate manifestation of idiocy in this process: the new school is directly across from the Kenosha Correctional Center, a fenceless state prison.

Reality check time.

Kenosha is the same city kicking around a proposed ordinance which, in its original form, would have consigned convicted sexual predators to a small sliver of the city. While the proposal is flawed, it's horrendous hypocrisy to be alarmed at sexual predators in the city and then build a new grade school across from a state prison.

I won't waste my time wondering if the people pushing this are idiots, morons or both. It doesn't matter. The whole thing needs an immediate injection of common sense, something which apparently isn't very common at city hall and the Educational Support Center.

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