To the editor:

I categorically deny that the Leavenworth Unified School District 453 is racist as alleged in Ms. Heflin’s latest letter that appeared in your paper on May 11. Ad hominem charges of racism normally occur when one side is losing an argument. Ms. Heflin would know that maintaining current social-economic and racial balances in the district’s elementary schools is a concern of this school district if she had bothered to attend any of the public district facilities planning committee meetings over the last six to eight months. Addressing current elementary school crowding in Leavenworth by merely adjusting attendance boundaries would have made Lawson a disadvantaged poor social-economic and majority minority school and made Henry Leavenworth a privileged high social-economic largely white school. These changes would have major negative impacts on property values throughout the city of Leavenworth. The district’s bond proposal that develops Lawson into an early childhood center and maintains three grade 1-4 elementary schools largely maintains the existing social-economic and racial ratios in those schools.

Likewise, Ms. Heflin could have watched on local public access the monthly televised meetings of the Leavenworth BOE every September for the last five years that I have continuously served on that BOE. She would have observed that the number of students in each school in total and by class was an item of great concern as district enrollment stabilized after Labor Day each year. The BOE’s monthly meetings throughout those years often had district administration and BOE members commenting on our capital improvement needs. Identification that the best time to ask Leavenworth voters to approve a new bond issue is this year as the 1998 bond issue expired because it would not cause an upward spike in property taxes is a fact often commented on in those meetings.

Thank you for your attention. Get the facts about the school district’s proposed bond issue. I urge you to vote yes on our proposal.