Wilton-Lyndeborough School Board did its job
We have to hand it to the Wilton-
Lyndeborough School Board members who worked so hard to convince voters to combine the two towns’ elementary schools.
Yes, the vote two weeks ago was incredibly close, but the board got what it wanted – the Lyndeborough Central School will stop teaching students and that town’s youngsters will go to Wilton.
Is it a good idea? Well, obviously some people don’t think so. The vote wasn’t unanimous, after all. But the concept – good, bad or indifferent – was adopted, we believe, for two connected reasons:
1. The School Board worked hard, writing informational pieces and letters and giving interviews. The board’s point of view was out there for all to study.
2. Opponents failed to organize. While there were many individuals opposed, they took no concerted action and certainly, they never held a community meeting to express their opposition.
The keys to any endeavor, particularly one in which there are, at least theoretically, people who have not entirely made up their minds, is organization and communication. The first takes leadership, of a sort, someone to, first, find those of like mind and then to give them goals. Oh, certainly, the ultimate goal is always to prevail, but you can’t just jump to that. Interim steps need to be taken and those steps more often than not involve communication.
Part of communication is, of course, to publicize one’s point of view. Letters to the editor help, but so do public gatherings in which that point of view can be communicated to a group, or groups.
Now in the case of a School Board, it has a constant public forum: its public meetings. While it is true that in most cases they are sparsely, the press is often there and will help to spread the board’s word. The only way people with an opposing viewpoint can counter that is to be public, too. There are public buildings that groups can use, or if not that, then gather people in homes, even if the gatherings are small.
The point is, the only way to battle for a point of view that is in opposition to officials with built-in public forums is to construct your own. Talking to your friends at the coffee shop isn’t going to cut it. You need to gather the fence-sitters and pull them over to your side with the brilliance of your arguments.
The Wilton-Lyndeborough School Board did its job – espousing its point of view – well. Members won because they were determined to win and they went out and did it.
We have to hand it to them.