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Letter to the Editor from Adam Munroe

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Greetings all,

As the 2023 campaign process drives to a close, I would like to take a moment of your time to discuss some very pressing issues that have significant impact for our students, schools, and the greater Hopkinton community. As my wife, Heather (Bobeck) would quickly point out, Hopkinton has realized significant changes in the more than 50 years she has lived in Hopkinton. She often recalls riding her bicycle as a young girl in downtown Hopkinton, and hardly seeing a car all day. This, simply stated, is not the Hopkinton of today. Our community has seen tremendous growth which continues to this day. This growth and change brings a number of challenges and opportunities. We need to ensure that students and families from all backgrounds are welcomed and valued in our schools. To be successful, our community needs to ensure all stakeholders have a voice in making our community one based on the rich potential offered by diversity, equity, and inclusion. With the tremendous potential that growth brings are real and present complications such as bullying, behavioral health challenges, sufficient space, and resources that promote and support student success. Leaders must keep focused on all of these simultaneously. While each is important, we cannot place these issues in a silo to be managed independently. Leaders must examine the impact of these collectively. 

Bullying negatively affects our students, their families, our schools, and our community. As a community, we need to develop and implement strategies to recognize and erradicate bullying in our schools and beyond. Resources, strategies, and plans need to be clearly developed and articulated with input from stakeholders. The impact of bullying is broad-reaching and too often has heartbreaking or tragic consequences. As an emergency department nurse specializing in behavioral health, I have seen firsthand the consequences of bullying. I have cared for patients in crisis that were suicidal as a result of bullying. Additionally, bullying often results in self injurious behaviors such as overdosing, cutting, or other risk-taking behaviors resulting in harm and future consequences. I have talked with children who described wanting to end their life as a result of bullying. Additionally, recent data from school administration demonstrates significantly increased levels of depression and suicidal ideation correlated with increased interactions on social media. Schools can certainly play a role in implementing plans to address the holistic needs of our children. 

To promote student success we need sufficient space and resources for our children to learn and grow. The data presented by administration here shows that our student population is currently 131 students ahead of projections for student growth for 2022-2023. While this alone is concerning, it only serves to underscore the challenging growth in the student population. Currently Hopkinton has 4,209 students distributed throughout the school system. The projections for student growth estimate Hopkinton will have 4,745 students by school year 2030-2031. This level of student growth underscores the need for careful and deliberate plans to accommodate such growth. At Town Meeting, Hopkinton has demonstrated an understanding of the current and future needs of the students through articles on the town warrant that were voted on. Clearly Hopkintonians understand the need for strong resilient schools. Again, please let me reiterate that strong leadership, accountability, and transparent communication with stakeholders is essential moving forward. As the proud parent of child entering high school after experiencing the best that Hopkinton offers in the elementary and middle schools, I can assure you I am well aware and focused on the issues, challenges, and opportunities the Hopkinton school system presents. On May 15th you have the opportunity to have your voice heard and advocate for the direction and path as we move into the future. 

I humbly ask for your support and your vote to become a member of YOUR school committee.

Respectfully,

Adam Munroe, 20 Holt St

Sunnyside Gardens

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