Look at it our way: Neshaminy needs to address issues at Tawanka

Editorial Board

Tawanka Elementary school’s conception was controversial from the start. The community fought to keep its school’s open, their bus rides short, and their neighborhoods familiar. School board meetings saw screaming, crying, and desperation from community and board members alike when faced with this change.
After the decision was made, and Tawanka was rebuilt to suit the School Board’s plans, the community fell surprisingly silent. The struggles and complaints of Neshaminy’s youngest and therefore most vulnerable community members fell on deaf ears.
There are reports by both parents and students of over 30 kids in each class at Tawanka, and at one point there were over 50 children in some art and physical education classes which are subject to what is referred to as co-teaching. An entire playground is going unused due to a lack of fencing.
Overcrowded classes and overcrowded playgrounds are limiting Tawanka students mentally and physically. They are both unable to receive the extra help they need in the classroom and the standard help they would have gotten in an average sized class. They are unable to play freely as they might once have at their previous schools due to being confined to play areas designed for numbers much fewer than theirs.
It is unclear as to whether the overcrowding at Tawanka result from an unwillingness to hire more teachers or a fear of admitting that there were mistakes made in the school’s design, but it is quite obvious that these problems need to be addressed before another set of children is entered into Tawanka.
It is human nature to be reluctant in admitting yourself wrong. No one wants to drop their pride in order to discuss their own faults, nor do they feel comfort when confronted with evidence of such.
Despite this, it is necessary for all of us to realize the ways in which our decisions affect those around us– our family, our friends, our communities– and in doing so learn the value in admitting our mistakes for the greater good of those we love.
The Neshaminy community and School Board must address the issues at Tawanka in a manner more blunt than the whispered comments and promises of the last few years. Replace a fence, expand Tawanka, reopen a school– it doesn’t matter how these issues are solved, it only matters that they are.