I am writing in response to Erin Hansen's letter (Herald, May 26). I, too, am the parent of a student at Escalante Middle School. It is ludicrous to say that Amy Kendziorski has "no control over her students and her teachers." Middle school students are notoriously a difficult bunch. They experience mood swings and often make irrational decisions. Kendziorski provides a stable, safe and academically superior environment and copes with the vagaries of adolescents on a daily basis.
In describing a life-size cutout that stands in a teacher's room, Hansen seems to miss the point that most 12-year-olds are capable of understanding that it is meant as a joke. I also have never seen that teacher dress inappropriately; perhaps Hansen is referring to the fact that the teacher is a volleyball coach and often wears volleyball shorts after school to practice.
My experience with the Escalante teaching staff is that they go the extra mile to make sure children are challenged and develop an interest in learning. The field trips that Hansen thinks have no educational value typically are rewards for kids who have completed their work and have good behavior. In particular, the $40 ski trip included lift tickets, rentals and lessons with a certified instructor. Not only was this a valuable, educational experience, but for families who could not afford the cost, there was - as always - confidential scholarship money available. For many of the kids on that trip, it was the first time they had ever skied.
Furthermore, like the end-of-year movie, parents always are required to sign a permission slip. If Hansen does not want her child to attend any of these field trips, she merely needs to advise the school.
Kendziorski consistently works to ensure that students feel comfortable, safe and act and dress appropriately at Escalante. Like any environment where there are 500-plus adolescents, there will be arguments as well as the occasional fight. Kendziorski does a wonderful job of minimizing these problems. Hansen is in the extreme minority in calling for any change of administration at Escalante.
Erica Max, Hesperus