To the Journal editor:
The reason why many people are so upset over closing Gilbert Elementary School is for one reason only: They don't want to send their kids to Sawyer.
(Some) have a misguided perception that it is a bad place to live. "It's the ghetto," is what people always say to me. My wife, Dr. Thatcher, and I, lived on Sawyer for two years. It's a wonderful community to live in. The great majority of people who say Sawyer is such a bad place is because they have never lived out there.
The residents of Gwinn have a very negative perception of Sawyer. They don't like the fact that it takes people away from Gwinn. My wife and I both graduated from Gwinn. It is nice but I would rather live, work, and send my kid to school at Sawyer than Gwinn.
Sawyer is a much more involved community. Sawyer residents have a way of getting together to get things done. What occurred at (a recent) board meeting is typical of Gwinn residents - lots of shouting, threatening, and saying hurtful things.
At Sawyer, those members of the community get together to resolve issues. They work collectively together to find resolutions to problems.
So, rather than shouting and threatening to "take your kids out of the school system," I would encourage you to give Sawyer Elementary a chance.
The principal is a very impressive person. Call her on the phone, meet with her, sit down and discuss any concerns of yours that you have.
After speaking with her for 10 minutes, I have no doubt that you will feel your child can get as good if not better an education at Sawyer Elementary than any other school in the Upper Peninsula.