Commentary: Disrupting Education Is Not a Good Way to Advocate for an Educator

by Lilly Turner

Freshman, Sevastopol High School

As the end of the school year is approaching fast, there are a lot of things going on. End-of-the-year finals, extracurriculars and trying to stay focused on school work are all things that can be challenging for everyone.

To add to this list, Sevastopol School District has undergone some changes, including the most recent retirement of Lisa Bley. At the school board meeting on May 16, I was there with two of my friends to propose an organization that would benefit our school.

That night parents came to share why they thought Lisa Bley shouldn’t retire. Now, I am not very educated on this controversy, but I do know from that night that there are a lot of parents who have very strong opinions on whether Lisa Bley should have retired.

On May 29, I was sitting in my high school geometry class working on a rather difficult lesson. About 10 to 15 minutes into the class, along with the rest of my classmates, I heard cars laying on their horns and honking obnoxiously right outside my classroom window. We all turned to see why so many cars were making this disturbance. I saw, in the grassy area next to the parking lot driveway, three adults whom I recognized from the board meeting. They were all holding up signs in support for Lisa Bley that read things such as, “I support Lisa Bley,” “Honk if you love Lisa Bley” and “Honk if you support Lisa Bley.” They also ended up coming back the next two days and proceeded with encouraging cars to honk. These adults are protesting for someone they believe is beneficial to their and other students’ education, but maybe what they didn’t realize is that they were disrupting the education of so many others for three days in a row.

A popular point that was brought up many times at the school board meeting was how much Lisa Bley cared about the students’ education. If you are supporting a statement, why partake in an activity that contradicts its meaning? I completely understand that the whole point of the protest was to get people’s attention, but there could’ve been other ways to accomplish that other than jeopardizing students’ time to learn. Math doesn’t come very easily for me, especially in high school, so I really need the 45 minutes we are given every day. I didn’t expect having to try to study my most difficult class while listening to horns of cars, trucks and even semis.

In the past three days, I barely accomplished anything since every three minutes a horn would blare, and my attention would be out the window again.

I am someone who is a firm believer that you should be able to voice your opinion and stand up for what you believe in. However, I have a hard time believing that Lisa Bley would want them interfering with the education of the students – whom she cared so much for – in her name.

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