Letter: Writer sees unnecessary divide created by ongoing county school debate

Dear Editor,

The recent uproar in Nelson County Schools about merging Thomas Nelson High School together with Nelson County High School has left me wondering if splitting into two counties would be best for everyone.

I was willing to dismiss the divisive comments I read on social media because people are more brazen behind a screen, but then I heard comments in forums and meetings. We really are two different sorts of people in this county, aren’t we? No, we are not different than our neighbors across the county. We all work hard for what we have, we all love our family and want what’s best, we all want our children to be successful. But at what cost?

The words I’ve heard and read have deepened a divide that never should have happened. For a district whose motto is “Uniting people, place and purpose,” it has worked very hard to deepen divides. Saying words and plastering a motto all over buildings doesn’t manifest those sentiments in hearts. Words mean nothing when no compromise has been sought, when so many people are left feeling unheard and disillusioned.

A sense of haves and have-nots starts to grow. While one side desperately grasps for opportunities another feels left behind. There never should have been sides to begin with, who doesn’t want children to be successful? That leads to the next point. Leadership.

Good leaders unite people. I see no unity. Good leaders find compromise. I see no compromise. Good leaders make sure there is a win-win situation. I see no wins. Because even though Thomas Nelson is going to continue there is now a mindset that has been planted in the hearts of our children: Us vs. Them.

What kind of legacy does that leave for the future of Nelson County?

Vanessa Hurst
New Haven

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