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Brandon Schools: "Honestly, I don't know what they were thinking?"

September 29, 2010 - (In response to, Audit finds extra $500K in district books, staff added, The Citizen, Sept. 25, page 1):

Dear editor,

My great-nephew plays football for a high school in mid-Michigan. He got a simple scratch on his knee and overnight it became a hole that began oozing matter. A visit to the doctor resulted in a diagnosis of staph infection, possibly MRSA. Other players started having similar symptoms and all uniforms had to be taken home, washed and the school locker rooms had to be cleaned and disinfected twice with bleach. This information sent up red flags for me.

I am greatly concerned because of the knowledge I have of the very drastic cuts that have been made by Brandon Schools in custodial staff, custodian's hours and the increased potential those cuts pose for disease to spread. One example of the cuts: Oakwood Elementary used to have two people working nightly for a total of sixteen hours. Now Oakwood has one person covering the same area in just seven hours. Last school year before the cuts, I subbed at Oakwood for awhile. We had time to sanitize surfaces nightly, but it was sometimes hard to get the work done in sixteen hours. I know that it cannot be getting cleaned properly in the time allotted now. Belle Ann has one custodian who's expected to clean that school in six hours. Harvey-Swanson has one custodian given seven hours to clean, the middle school had seven hours cut from their schedule and 8,000 square feet added to the area they are required to clean. Honestly, I don't know what they were thinking?

I have a grandchild, several great-nieces, nephews and cousins attending Brandon and when I saw in The Citizen that they found over $500,000 in their budget, my hope was that as much as possible, if not all of what was taken, would be restored to the cleaning staff for what I believe to be pretty obvious reasons. I also learned that rather than losing the 100 students they had forecasted, around 100 students were gained resulting in even more revenue. Also the school could somehow afford to hire a negotiator to deal with the teachers and their contract talks.

If this issue is of concern to you or you have questions, please call or email the school's superintendent or school board and let them know. The school's phone number is 248-627-1800.

Debbie Wagner

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