Pubdate: Fri, 18 Mar 2005
Source: Muskogee Daily Phoenix (OK)
Copyright: C2005 Muskogee Daily Phoenix
Author: Tim Matthews


I am disappointed in the March 4 Phoenix story about drugs at Muskogee
High School. The story is based on a survey given to students by the
school paper staff. I agree this is an important issue facing
students, parents and other schools. I disagree with the reporting of
the information as if it were factually correct. Did anyone question
the administration about allegations of pot smoking or use of alcohol
on campus?

I think this information is pertinent. I also believe an anonymous
survey will bring responses from people who are not correct.

On the other hand, you could look at the results and assume that the
survey was not filled out truthfully. Surveys are only as good as the
questions given and the people responding. I am not trying to say
there is not a drug problem in the schools. I am only saying the
results given may not reflect the truth. Drug problems have existed
for many years, and we have taken many steps as a school district and
community to address them. We now have drug education in the schools,
anti-drug clubs, counselors and a policeman on the premises to handle
problems, as well as other programs to address the issues that face
today's youth.

These problems are not solely MHS', but the stigma that hangs over MHS
is that of a drug-infested, gangbanger school. The Phoenix hasn't
helped that reputation. I am a proud graduate of MHS and proud parent
of an MHS student. I strongly believe that MHS offers the best
educational opportunities of any school in the area. The key word is
opportunity. If a student wishes a great education, MHS offers
upper-level courses and topnotch extracurricular activities. You
cannot force someone to strive to be better; they must choose to be
better, and MHS has the resources and teachers to help students reach
those goals.

This type of reporting does nothing but hurt our community, our school
and our students.

I know my kids will have the opportunity to get the greatest education
available and would not think of having them anywhere else.

Tim Matthews

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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin