Would somebody please call for King Solomon.
Both sides have good arguments in the proposal to place an intensive program for junior high students who have behavioral disorders in a building located near an elementary school.Parents of Hunter Elementary School children are fearful their youngsters will be in situations where they mingle with the junior high students, putting them at some risk.
Parents of students with behavioral disorders want a setting where their children can progress both socially and academically. They feel the answer is to put them together with trained staff as opposed to having them sprinkled throughout the valley.
Despite the concerns, the Granite Board of Education should go ahead and approve allowing the district to bus approximately 36 special-needs students to the satellite location, one block from Hunter Elementary. Failure to do so may deprive those students the opportunity to reach their potentials.
Mainstreaming may work for some, but there is wisdom in bringing others together under the supervision of those professionally trained to deal with behavioral disorders.
"If we love and care about them, they tend to love and care about us in return," said Marjean Woolf, who has worked with troubled children for 22 years. Woolf would run the pilot program if it is approved.
That kind of attention and love is rarely given in a mainstream setting.
Students in the program would be instructed and supervised by three experienced teachers, four classroom assistants, a vocational counselor, a psychologist, a mental-health worker and a probation officer. The state Department of Child and Family Services may also house a social worker at the site.
The key is keeping students on task in an environment where there are consequences and consistent reinforcements.
While not offering guarantees regarding contact between the junior high and elementary school students, school officials said the junior high students would be under strict supervision from the time they board school buses near home until they are dropped off in the evening.
The program is not supposed to be an end unto itself. The goal is to have the students progress to the point where they can return to mainstream classrooms at Kennedy Junior High.
The Granite school board will act on the proposal within the next month. It merits approval.