Sunday, June 25, 2017

Student Defends Pottstown Middle School

Photo by Evan Brandt
Pottstown Middle School's MoniYah Henderson, a rising seventh grader, stopped by The Mercury to deliver her letter in person.


Blogger's Note: Last week, The Mercury published an article about both Pottstown Middle School principals -- David Todd and Matthew Boyer -- resigning and complaints from Federation of Pottstown Teachers Vice President Michael DiDonato about behavior problems at the school.

Student MoniYah Person Henderson decided to stand up for her school and submitted the following defense, which we have published here in full. A shorter version will be published in The Mercury. 

Please be reminded that The Digital Notebook welcomes responses to its posts. They may be posted as comments below the posts or emailed to ebrandt@pottsmerc.com
Dear Pottstown Mercury,

Hello I am MoniYah, I'm 12 years old and I reside in Pottstown on Walnut Street! I'm going into seventh grade this coming fall. I have been going to Pottstown Kindergarten through 6th grade soon 7th. I get very great grades in school and I love school, so it didn't make me very happy when I saw some disappointing and upsetting things about my school online and I knew I had to do something.

Pottstown is suppose to show "Pottstown Pride" right? Why are you guys showcasing bad. People are saying and I have heard them "Pottstown has to much trouble" or "that school district isn't good" One thing to know is that there is good and bad anywhere you can't just judge one place. I could go down south to a nice quaint town and it could be very nice but that doesn't mean that there aren't going to be fights there at that school it's very possible and I could go to a school here and that doesn't mean that there can't be good here. 

I don't like showcasing the bad I like showcasing the good. Some parents are looking for their children to go to our school and if you post things like that on the Mercury parents are going to be turned away that's not good. I actually put a review up about the Pottstown Middle School and how much I love it. My mom also posted a very good comment about Rupert Elementary school, another great school in the district that I went to and currently my sister goes to, it was a very nice comment and a few days later a lady messaged her on Facebook saying that her review actually helped her choose where her daughter should go. She said that she heard bad things about Pottstown so what you're putting on the Mercury people actually see that and that's not good for them to see those bad things. 

Now I do understand about the children walking home on Franklin Street what they did was very wrong and disrespecting authority it isn't good. Thing is though if we keep showcasing these kids doing the wrong thing they're going to keep doing the wrong thing because they're getting showcased for doing bad. They want the attention and if you keep giving it to them they're going to keep doing what they're doing. You can tell them not to throw snowballs or not to curse and yell at teachers or mailmen, but they are children and not every child listens. 

In one article in the Mercury it states and I quote "The mercury found zero teachers and students at the middle school have a high respect for teachers there but 97% categorized students respect is low or very low" I disagree with this statement 100%! My teachers has told my class were very respectful and nice! Also wasn't just my class it with others to I don't believe that one teacher said students DO respect a student and I can say because I go there so I'd know.

To be honest I really don't see a lot of disrespect going around in classrooms so I find that very hard to believe that the teachers actually said that. They're very respectful to us and we're very respectful to them. I have walked inside a fifth grade classroom to help one of my old teachers and it was very nice and the teachers are respectful and the students were respectful because respect has to go both ways of course, and I have walked there numerous times and they were so nice. I have been in the six grade classroom because I was in six grade in my class was very respectful, and not just my class and other classes as well. Our teachers tell us that we make them proud to be from Pottstown. Why can't you guys put that in your newspaper? You should be putting that Pottstown has a very respectful class and not just class but school.

Another thing which makes me extremely upset is on the Mercury post about discipline problems, what I don't get is that you have a picture of random children that you don't know in the paper about discipline problems. That picture has two of my best friends and some of my other peers. My friends aren't the ones doing wrong why would you put them on their. They were simply walking the halls going into the next class. That makes them look like the bad people when they did nothing wrong at all they were just going to class they didn't even know that picture was taken because I've even ask them myself they didn't realize that picture was being taken. They weren't very happy to see that picture at all either, especially with that title. 

If we want to stop bullying then we should not be helping it, kids can get bullied because other kids are saying that they're bad because of that post. Kids can get picked on because some random newspaper came up and took a picture of them saying that Pottstown is having bad discipline problems. That doesn't make sense at all to have children that didn't do anything wrong at all, on the cover walking in the hall. Why couldn't you make it positive or not speak about those fights at all? 

I am very upset and I would like to have a meeting with the Mercury about this problem. I love Pottstown a lot, it's an amazing school district so we don't need this bringing us down and this issue really needs to be resolved and I will do a lot for this to be resolved. I am going to the next school board meeting to talk to them about this too. It's not good to write bad about your own town. Pottstown is amazing and many need to realize this. Pottstown isn't very city but is it to country either it's right in the middle and it's very comfortable, and it's awesome because they really try their hardest to do a lot for children to seniors. I love my little town Pottstown. Pottstown is phenomenal and we shouldn't and bring things down.

Thank you for reading this letter and I really hope that this can be resolved because this is very very serious and important to me. 

Sincerely,

MoniYah Person Henderson


Thank you MoniYah for sharing your opinion with us and our readers.

32 comments:

  1. Great Job MoniYah! I love your passion for your School & Pottstown😃

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  2. Awesome letter!

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  3. This is awesome. Great job advocating for yourself, your school and your community. We need more like you to take a stand and fight for what you believe in!

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  4. It's great to share your opinion and view as a student. You are correct, there is good and bad in everything. It really stinks when people highlight the bad. I am glad we have students such as yourself that express how they feel in a positive manner. I hope you have a great year in 7th grade!

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  5. Amazing! You said it Moniyah! Let's build this town up together!

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  6. Very good letter MoniYah you are very passionate about Pottstown schools and it sounds to me like the media is sensationalizing to sell papers, this is something that you will learn about not necessarily in school but definitely in life

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  7. Young lady, I hope your words begin to start a trend. Thank you for taking pride in your community, school, and educators.

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  8. Good job MoniYah! It is important to state your opinion when you are aware of the situation. As a student in Pottstown, you know what is happening and should share your experience! Maybe you should be a guest columnist for the Mercury? You could write about the good things you see! I started in Rupert, graduated from the High School and got a great education in a very diverse community. Keep working hard, standing up for yourself and your community and you will go far!

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  9. This makes me very happy to see. I proposed a program called WATCHDOGS to Mr. Rodriguez and a few of the school board members, which we are going to roll out in the beginning of next year! It involves dads and other male role models volunteering time in the school assisting teachers, staff and setting an example for kids that attend Pottstown Middle School, so I wanted to be part of the solution, not the problem. My daughter is in 6th grade at the middle school. Young women like you are the reason Pottstown is amazing. Everything you said in your letter is true. Pottstown Pride is alive and well thanks to students like you! Keep up the good work and I look forward to meeting you on the fall!

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    1. That's awesome and I know your daughter she is awesome and very smart!!

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  10. My daughter went from 4k to a 2007 graduate and my wife and I were involved with PTA, cheerleading, and rhe music association. It was a constant struggle to get news about our kid's into the paper.

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  11. Sorry. It should read all our kids. This sounds like I am only talking about my child.

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  12. Wow all I can say is continue to be a courageous truthful voice. You could be a powerful Jr. Mayor of Pottstown👍🏾

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  13. I was a substitute teacher in Pottstown. When I saw your picture I remembered you instantly and I was compelled to read your letter. I am so proud of you! Good luck!

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  14. This article hits home and I'm amazed by this students ability to articulate how she is feeling & the impact on our community. As an alumni, corporate professional and MBA - I look back and thank Pottstown for being a part of supporting my success.

    All communities have opportunities for advancement & change, Pottstown is not alone. If we support the negativity it will continue to be negative. We need to support our young rising talent and show them the positive impact they can have. I hope to meet this young lady to let her know that Alumni support her perspective & tell her how important it is that she continue with this level of passion.

    - Jessica Stahl (Brogley)

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    1. Thank you so much and I hope I can meet you too!!!!!

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  15. Moniyah this is Mackenzie and I am very very proud of u for sticking up for our school! This message shows that u r a very independent young lady and cares for every or anything u were and still r an amazing friend not just to me but to other people as well! Now people know they can count on a strong young lady like you! Most of the stuff you're speaking are true facts, indeed!:) Hey maybe you could stick about the no uniform policy and show people that young children are majorly good enough to show positive attuide towards other people and a a nice comment here and then. Hope you have a fantastic SUMMER Moniyah and keep working hard and never give up on your dreams and maybe one day you will become a lawyer;) Thank you so much for your astonishing work so proud of u!, once again!!
    From Mackenzie,xoxo

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  16. Moniyah this is Mackenzie and I am very very proud of u for sticking up for our school! This message shows that u r a very independent young lady and cares for every or anything u were and still r an amazing friend not just to me but to other people as well! Now people know they can count on a strong young lady like you! Most of the stuff you're speaking are true facts, indeed!:) Hey maybe you could stick about the no uniform policy and show people that young children are majorly good enough to show positive attuide towards other people and a a nice comment here and then. Hope you have a fantastic SUMMER Moniyah and keep working hard and never give up on your dreams and maybe one day you will become a lawyer;) Thank you so much for your astonishing work so proud of u!, once again!!
    From Mackenzie,xoxo

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  17. Moniyah, I am an Assistant Principal at a different school and just stumbled across your letter here! I am so happy to hear that you love your school and community so much! You are very intelligent and are already making a big difference in your school! You have incredible leadership ability already!! Keep going, girl

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