A few days ago, French Morning editors received a plea for help from Madi Ross, a student at Marlboro Central School District.
The tenth-grader, a committed French student, has started a petition against her school’s decision to discontinue classes taught in the language of Molière. “Unfortunately, the class will be cut because of the budget,” she writes in cute high-school French in a Facebook message.
To understand why this school had no choice in taking such drastic measures during a 2013-2014 budget vote, we must go back a few months. The Marlboro District, in the state of New York, underwent an extremely difficult year in 2012. One of its major companies, Dygeny, which had a power plant in the region, went bankrupt. This plunged the district in major financial difficulties. Although there was significant state aide ($4.2 million, in addition to the $10.9 million traditionally allocated), it did not suffice to cover all the sectors affected by budget constraints.
Consequently, the Marlboro Central School District has no choice but to discontinue a number of classes, including some French classes. Our editorial team reached out to the school, which justifies its decision. “There is a lack of interest for this language. Today students are turning more to Spanish, Mandarin or Arabic,” says a revolted Madi Ross, who is determined to keep her French class. She explains, “The school wants to cut this class because there is a low number of students enrolled (120 in the school). I think that if they really wanted to keep the French class they would do what is necessary.” Passionate about her class, Ms. Ross justifies her petition. “If the petition can demonstrate to the school that French is important to its students, I want to believe that they will maintain the classes.” If Madi wins her battle, French Morning would like to automatically include her in the next ceremony for the French Legion of Honor…
For information and to sign the petition click here
Photo : flickr.com/photos/whizzer