Dear Members of the Board of E.L. Meyers High School;
It has been brought to my attention that that the National Championship Speech and Debate Team of Meyers High School has been defunded for this upcoming academic year. This decision and its ramifications show a lack of respect for a hard working group of students who are gaining skills that will help them to immensely in the job market and in higher education. I am not an almunus of Meyers, in fact, I attended a competitive high school, Wallenpaupack Area. As someone who participated in Speech and Debate throughout my four years of high school, I can attest to the skills and confidence I gained through participating in this activity. The Meyers team started competing while I was still in high school and were already producing championship speakers and debaters. As I moved through college and became close with the Borlands, I recognized the hard work put in by both the coaches and the students. They are incredibly professional, and serve as a role model for other teams in our District. They have taken on leadership roles, created tournaments and have helped to launch the professional careers of Meyers alumni, many of whom refer to the their time with the Speech and Debate team as a motivator for their success. It is unconscionable that you would choose to defund this team over any other student organizations with no significant reasoning. I urge you to reconsider your decision and reinstate the funding to the Meyers Speech and Debate team.
Colleen E. Bunn
I sent this letter to the Borlands to be delivered with the rest of the letters they are handing to the school board tonight. I am appalled that the school board would even think about defunding this team. They have been sending students to Nationals since the beginning, they are incredibly successful and they teach skills that all student should have. If this was my high school, I would be even more livid. Speech and Debate shaped who I am, shaped my confidence as a speaker, taught me how to argue, how to bring a monologue or poem to life, taught me how to be a teammate and taught me about tradition. And the Meyers team is teaching those same things to their team. I hope that they are successful tonight at the board meeting and I hope that others see this and throw their support behind the Meyers team. Fellow Speech and Debaters out there, mail letters to the school board (730 South Main Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711), call them, go visit them in their office. To take this kind of opportunity away from students is unconscionable and unacceptable.