To the Editor:

A letter to anyone who will listen.

I have two children in the Shelton school district, pre-K 4 and second grade. My children attend Mohegan Elementary School. I think Mohegan is an exemplary School. I have no problem, nor issue with Mohegan. I think the principal and the staff all do their jobs very well. I feel grateful that my children attend this wonderful neighborhood school.

Last night I attended my first Board of Education meeting for the Shelton school district.

I’m saddened, scared, frustrated and angry. The pit in my stomach is worse this morning than it was last night, especially when I look at my sweet, innocent and vulnerable children.

I feel hopeless and helpless. It is a terrible feeling.

I’ve had people around me who has been sharing facts, and trying to enlighten me about what’s been going on in our town as far as education in Shelton is concerned. I have had my head in the sand, believing that it couldn’t possibly be that bad. I learned firsthand that the situation is far worse than I ever imagined.

I will reiterate, this situation is not a result of or or in any way a direct matter with Mohegan Elementary School. This is a matter with the higher-ups in the educational system. The people with power. The people making the decisions.

I am disgusted and saddened by what my own eyes saw and ears heard. I heard lying. I saw people evading the imperative issues at hand, the truth. I heard people make statements, and then deny them, and try to take it back. I saw people ignoring facts. Ignoring the truth. I saw people show blatant disrespect, disconcern and outright rudeness. I saw a gross misuse of money. I saw at least two unlawful violations take place. (1 - FOIA, 2 - freedom of speech)

These are just some of the things I saw with my own eyes and heard with my own ears. If certain people are allowing these actions to take place publicly, imagine what is going on that the public eye cannot see.

These are some of the people that are making crucial decisions when it comes to our children’s education & future.

Sadly, power feeds power and greed feeds greed. I believe that’s what I witnessed last night.

I am glad that I sat through that three-hour meeting, and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to speak my mind. I’ve never done anything like that. I was incredibly nervous, but I’m also very proud of myself for pulling together enough words at the very last minute to express exactly how I felt.

Sadly, (I know I’m using that word a lot) it seems that for now, the children and students of the Shelton school district are in a position where this is going to continue, this is not going to change in the near future.

I will keep my head in the sand no more. I will continue to educate myself, for my children, for all the children and students in Shelton.

Parents, grandparents, families and friends, please educate yourself on the current status of the Shelton school district. We all like low taxes, but those low taxes are coming at a great cost. The cost is our children. I would definitely pay more yearly for the betterment of our future. The children of this town are the towns future. Low taxes are not a solution. In addition to a few other things going on, they are a problem.

Budget cuts have affected many things in the school system. The pre-K program, arts programs, sports programs and many teachers have been cut (with more to follow) Those are to name just a few. Did you know that last year because of budget cuts Shelton schools did not have enough paper? Yes, paper.

The Shelton school district has made national news multiple times for many years now. All under the same regime. Can this possibly be a coincidence?

Shelton needs community participation.

Please keep your ears and eyes open. Please gather the facts. Please educate yourselves.

Please attend meetings.

Please vote when that time comes up.

We need change desperately.

Nothing changes if nothing changes.

With concern and fear,

Georgeanne DaCosta

Shelton