Letter to the Editor from Macon Tiger Maws Charter Member and Macon Resident (64 Years), Tanya Nelson
Dear Editor and fellow Macon Tigers,
In 1954, my husband Thomas Jack Nelson, myself, and two of our children returned to Macon, Missouri after Jack was serving in the military in Tacoma, Washington. I was born and raised in New York City (Bronx). For 64 years together, we have called Macon our home (Jack has lived here since 1931). 26 family members (three generations) graduated from Macon R-1 High School starting in the 1930s, until 2015 (fourth generation is in school now.) We have always been die-hard Macon Tiger fans. Been involved with the school in many ways; I am a charter member of the Tiger Maws and Jack was even on the school board. We have always pictured and perceived the “friendly rivalry” between Macon and South Shelby as a heated yard game at a family reunion. Just like our love for our school and the many experiences that we’ve had, thousands of families across this nation can write similar stories – including those of the school district to our east. We will be “VOTING NO” August 7th on Proposition 1 (School Boundary Change) for the simple reason that we cannot begin to fathom the idea of breaking up families, uprooting them from their homes and their school district for reasons that we aren’t sure. It has gone from opportunities, to distance, taxes, and then we learn that redistricting was originally started for leverage against the South Shelby School Board. Think about that. Using children, their education, and life decisions of families, as pawns for personal agendas. It’s been brought to our attention that some of the families that have kids in school, were not even asked whether or not the petitions should be filed and if they supported redistricting. It makes you realize how “disposable” patrons in the Clarence area are, to those who started this mess.
We have had family members marry their life long partner from South Shelby. All of them have turned out to be extraordinary individuals. We have heard stories of lawyers, doctors, and teachers that received their high school education from Shelby County R-lV. You cannot convince me that they do not offer a quality education. We have heard from families that have children in the district. We have heard from former educators. We have heard from Community Members. They all have a different path in life but were coddled early on by South Shelby. All of them residing from all over the district are united in one cause, to STOP Proposition 1. As Macon patrons that are voting no, we have NOTHING to gain. We don’t have an ulterior motive. We aren’t looking for money. We aren’t doing it because we want to pay off a school addition early. We aren’t looking for a position somewhere in the community or school. We are “voting no” because we have heard from Clarence Parents who have kids in the district and the strong majority of them are asking us to "Vote No." WE are also doing it out of the goodness of our hearts. I personally have met and spoken with many Shelby County Patrons. I now consider many, new-friends. Throughout life we are faced with big decisions. I am 83 years old and this is close to being one of the biggest decisions that has faced our community. I urge everyone to think about those Clarence parents that have spoken out in mass numbers that are saying “Please Vote No.” I urge you, to put yourself in their shoes. I know without skipping a hear- beat that if Macon R-1 was faced with a portion of land being redistricted elsewhere by a small group of individuals, I’d be one of the first ones to defend and fight for the district that I love so dearly and have passionately done so for over a semi-centennial. I’ve never been prouder to be a Macon Tiger, but on August 7th I’m defending with absolute humility, our friends and future friends to the east. PLEASE VOTE NO on Proposition 1 on August 7th!
Tanya Friedman Nelson (Toni Nelson)
Former State Sec. Treasurer of Missouri Sheep Producers
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