Norton: a tale of two districts amidst teacher turmoil

Our community is served by two incredibly different school districts, one caring, compassionate and thriving. One vindictive, divided and failing.

Mike Norton

Thursday in all likelihood our schools will close as Arizona teachers walk out. Over 10,000 children in the PVUSD and SUSD boundaries count on our schools for food each day.

It is not an exaggeration that for many residents of Scottsdale, kids only eat when our schools serve food.

There is perhaps no greater proof of the astonishing divide between Paradise Valley Unified School District and its leadership team and Scottsdale Unified School District and its band of bullies.

SUSD has thousands of students who are provided free and reduced cost meals daily. In a spiteful, divisive, and wickedly motivated decision, SUSD has announced that it will cut off food to those kids. Why? I can only conclude that our Governing Board hopes to cause lower income families to turn against our teachers. PVUSD did the opposite. It quickly assured families that food services would be maintained.

It’s hard to believe that all the evil people in our city live east of Pima Road while all the good people live on the west side (the boundary between PVUSD and SUSD in the north).

Whatever vendetta our Governing Board has in mind for teachers, please don’t use lower income students as the hostages. For just a couple of weeks, act like you understand what it means to watch your own child go hungry.  Play all the political cards you want to play. But don’t play the “starve the kids until teachers give in” card.

My family supports our teachers in their decision to strike.

We will help serve food at SUSD’s Title I schools during the strike. I doubt Pam Kirby had any plans to join us to flip pancakes. But perhaps her political handlers will whisper something in her ear after reading this letter to

Scottsdale voters and remind her that punishing kids rarely wins votes.

Editor’s note: Mr. Norton is a resident of Scottsdale and an editor of the Respect Our Scottsdale Students Facebook fanpage

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