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Brandon athletics will keep students, families away from district

May 12, 2010 - Dear Editor,

(In response to, "School problem: blame administration," The Citizen, May 8, page 9)

In regards to Pat O'Shea's totally accurate letter: I completely agree and I am not the only one.

I am sure that most parents who have kids in the Brandon School District also agree with O'Shea's letters and either just never said anything or, like me, have and were never listened to.

Before McMahon's first day, I visited her in her office to talk about what issues we had with athletics and the loss of kids due to the athletics. I thought that we might have had a fresh start and a new direction with a new superintendent coming in with new goals but as of right now, things have gotten worse. While I was there, she took a lot of notes as I explained to her the issues we had. I told her that my oldest son, an honor student and an all state athlete, had already left the district to a school of his choice. He couldn't take the athletic programs at Brandon and believed he deserved more out of his hard work. At this time, I told McMahon that I was concerned about my middle son, who was a sophomore attending Brandon High School and was already having second thoughts about transferring to another district because of the inconsistency in the athletics. After I saw how poorly run Brandon athletics are, I gave the choice of attending Brandon to my youngest son just coming into high school. I believe he couldn't have made a better choice by going to a different school of his choosing. I gave these choices to my sons because of their high academic achievements and that I believed they would make the right choice.

Brandon Schools lost two of my three kids due to their "status quo" athletic system and continue to lose great athletes and students. Even though my only son attending Brandon Schools is graduating this year, I am still worried about this issue because the value of my home may keep decreasing. When people start to come back into this housing market and are comparing this area to surrounding areas including Clarkston, Holly, Goodrich, and Oxford, they will clearly see how superior these other schools' athletics are to Brandon's and, since we all have similar academic programs, they will choose one of these four instead of Brandon, because of athletics.

Obviously with all the notes she was taking, and I never being contacted or anything being changed, I begin to wonder if she was writing notes or if she was adding up how much she was going to make a day with her new contract?

Please find a way to earn your pay, Lorrie McMahon, and please show us, concerned parents, some changes.

Raymond Bilkos

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