Bold school proposal led to overdue conversation

Regarding the recent story, “Is it time to split up Pleasantville High School? Local officials discuss”:

The headline of the story regarding my statement about Pleasantville High School did its job and grabbed a lot of attention. The story, however, was about the shock I realized when I watched a video of the presentation made by Absecon to explain their position in wanting to exit sending students to Pleasantville and instead send to Absegami. Seven AP classes in Pleasantville, more than 20 in both Mainland and Absegami. Lower graduation rate and SAT participation in Pleasantville as well. My point is that Pleasantville students deserve an equitable education in comparison with their neighbors. This has been ignored for far too long and must be addressed.

I made a bold proposition about a volatile problem, expressing concern about all students.

I do not believe this is a poor-performing-teacher situation. Teachers, in my experience, follow their careers because they truly care about the welfare of their students. But without parental, administrative and board of education support, neither they nor their students can succeed.

The amount of positive response this dialogue has received has been surprising. It seems many Atlantic County residents want fairness in education and are willing to look outside the status quo in order to achieve that goal.

A countywide school district could help solve the problems of variances in costs, inequitable educational experiences and the unavoidable segregation that occurs with small neighborhood districts.

We are now having the conversation that has been too long in coming.

Caren Fitzpatrick

Linwood Atlantic County freeholder at large

Insurance should cover mental health care

Mental health, mental illness. Well, I have depression, but will not readily share I am “mentally ill.” The stigma attached to it is barbaric.

Society’s difficulty discussing mental health and mental illness is a major overlooked issue. A national cry for help!

Also, where can one go for treatment as 75 percent of providers, from psychiatrists to therapists, do not accept insurance?

There are numerous providers in Atlantic County, who most often accept cash or credit card.

For those who are disabled or over 65 and have Medicare, the list is even shorter.

I challenge local medical providers who offer mental health services to publicize that they accept insurance.

Janet Maloney

Egg Harbor Township

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