Reader: School closing was a ‘death certificate’

I recently visited Valley Head, my childhood hometown, and expecting the worst, I was appalled to see firsthand the death of a once-vibrant community.

It is just my opinion, of course, but I sense that the life plug was pulled when its public school was closed in 2016. Alas, the only things missing are a “death certificate,” a gravestone and a eulogy!

In Valley Head, there is no local gas station, no grocery store, no restaurant, no garage, no bank, no movie theater, no Senior Center, no doctor’s office and no public park.

Would you agree that the children have been short-changed?

On June 2, 2019, the West Virginia State Senate “approved a new version of an omnibus education bill that will legalize charter schools and give teachers a pay raise.” To wit, will this help the children who live in Valley Head? And don’t we see these same third-world towns not only in Randolph County but also throughout West Virginia?

President George H.W. Bush signed the Rio Treaty in 1992; President Bill Clinton established the President’s Council on Sustainable Development in 1993; and we have been implementing its mandates here for more than 27 years.

“Each country should, in consultation with its youth communities, establish a process to promote dialogue between the youth community and government at all levels and to establish mechanisms that permit youth access to information and provide them with an opportunity to present their perspectives on government decisions, including the implementation of Agenda 21.” — Earth Summit Agenda 21, pages 224-225.

The Earth Summit Agenda 21 is never mentioned on national TV, in your local newspaper or in the public schools. Students have never been made aware, parents are kept in the dark, and the promise of youth participation cannot be found in Valley Head.

My purpose in writing this is to request the re-establishment of a public school in Valley Head, including a high school. This, in my opinion, could be a first step in reviving community life, a renewed promise of a future for the children, and a return to sanity for a stressed-out town.

Government at all levels is committed to the United Nations Agenda for the 21st Century, but in Valley Head, government has not kept its end of the bargain!

Hence, I ask Amanda Smith, Randolph County Board of Education president, and state Senate President Mitch Carmichael to travel to Valley Head and witness the great tragedy that has fallen upon the people, and take the steps necessary to resuscitate the dead!

Richard N. Swecker