Many of you may wonder why I am so passionate about protecting the children I teach at the Salemwood School. I am not only a teacher to the 142 students I often times I play the role of parent, counselor, and interventionist.
A $1 million dollar artificial turf field should be an afterthought compared to a school which is in need of some major repairs and maintenance. Evaluations were conducted by Mr. Webb of the Board of Health and the state department of health, yet very few of the recommendations by both agencies have been completed to date.
It is important for me to preserve this green space for the children at the Salemwood School. The children I teach are the poorest kids in the community. They come from the neediest homes in our district, 72 percent of them are low income. Many of these children live in apartment buildings. Some are homeless and living in motel rooms or shelters.
In addition to educating the neediest children in our community, we also have the largest population of students; we have the highest number special education students, and the majority of new english language learners. These statistics are challenging to Salemwood School educators, yet we strive each and every day to educate and improve the lives of the children who enter our classrooms.
The fact is, while a few councillors have chosen to single out the Salemwood School because of the protest we put up to preserve the park as a park for all Malden residents, by and large the Salemwood School is not a priority for any ward councillors or school committee members.
In closing, I apologize for my outburst, but I will never apologize for acting as the protector of the children who are entrusted to my care each and every day.
Concerned Citizens of Malden, Secretary
Grade 5 Teacher, Salemwood School