I am writing out of complete frustration over the way that the high-school choice option is being handled by the Ventnor schools.

I am a longtime Ventnor resident. My oldest son was highly successful as a Ventnor student going into Atlantic City High School. As a student at ACHS, he was presented with opportunities both academically and socially that I do not believe he would have received at another high school.

At the time, Ocean City High School or Mainland Regional High School were not options for him. We discussed other options briefly, but in the end he only wanted to attend ACHS.

Six years later, the administrative staff in Ventnor and some of the teachers are cramming the choice high schools down our children's throats. It is my opinion that the high-school decision is one that the parent should make without interference from the middle-school staff. These are still children. My 12- and 13-year-olds have no idea what is ahead of them, and so it is my job to guide them - not the school's job.

I chose to live in this school district fully aware that my children would be attending Atlantic City High School, and 20 years later that is still my choice for them. My oldest son received a top-notch education and was independent, confident and well prepared when he went to college.

I believe that this brainwashing about attending other high schools chips away at the community as a whole instead of what we should be doing - which is building a camaraderie among the students. Ventnor should be building up the district high school so that the students are excited to attend. School officials should not be making the students feel as though Atlantic City High School is their last option - which is the vibe that my children are getting.

Now that they have convinced my son that he would be better off at Ocean City High School - which, as I understand it, is more of a lottery situation - who is going to console my son if/when he does not get accepted? Who is going to pick him up when he is crushed? That job will be left to me.

I believe Ventnor school officials are working against parents like me who still have faith in the public school system, which is ironic to say the least.

MICHELLE ZIBULSKY

Ventnor