As a former student rep to the board of ed, I believe it is time that I enter this conversation. It is becoming quite tiresome listening to the opinions of community members who have not attended the school in 25+ years, and seem relatively disconnected from the ACTUAL issues. During my service on the board, I found it shocking that the BOE members rarely questioned anything brought forward to the board. In fact, there was only one board member (at the time) that ever questioned a single thing brought forth. In my eyes, the members of the board were responsible for questioning and discussing issues brought before them. I graduated with a sense that the administration ran the school without checks and balances, and any student of history knows that unchecked power perpetuates abuses. Now, with that said, no matter how despicable the administration is (though “pathetic” may be a more appropriate word), that is not the issue at hand and we as a community have allowed it to become the main focus. We are currently punishing the teachers who work incredibly hard, because they care about the students. Furthermore, we are punishing the students who are devoted to learning, growing, and extracurricular experiences. I do not support the proposed budget, because I do not believe it is in the best interests of the students. When I graduated I was proud to have been a Housatonic student. I felt successful and I saw my peers as successful. I no longer feel that way about the school. I am embarrassed when I hear about large percentages of freshmen classes failing. I am embarrassed when I hear athletic teams are no longer competitive. Most importantly, I am heartbroken when I talk to my favorite teachers and I can feel a discouragement that was certainly not present while I attended. Decreasing the budget does not solve a single on of these problems, and neither does complaining about the administration. It is time that we as a community put our most precious resource first and take care of the teachers and students that resource serves, not the entitled circus running it.