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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Open Letter to Shoreline School District-You are WAY out of line

My comments from Monday's, August 24th at the Shoreline School Board Meeting.

The unthinkable is about to happen. Please notice your community is about to lose its history!

There were four of our Save Our Shoreline Historical Museum Committee's members who spoke and two others attended. We were also present with about 100 members of the SESPA Union, who are engaged in contract talks with the District and had held an informational picket just before the meeting. Many of their members spoke of their situation, their dedication to their jobs and the students, and their need for decent hourly wages and work days to make ends meet.

The Ronald School was built in 1912 on land donated by Judge JT Ronald. The Shoreline Historical Musuem was created in 1976 by a group of dedicated preservationists, educators and historians in celebration of our Nation's Bicentennial. It has been supported in its work by funding from local, county and state governments and private and public grant funding. The building was Landmarked by King County Historical Preservation board in 2008. It is the oldest public building in Shoreline.

Judge JT Ronald
photo credit-Janet Way

If you would like to contact the School Board click on this link.


I'm Janet Way from Shoreline and I'm representing the Committee to Save Our Shoreline Historical Museum. I'm here to speak about YOUR actions. We speak in solidarity with the SESPA Union who is here today.

Today, we submitted a repeat FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request, on documents related to Design of Shorewood HS. We were greeted by Superintendent Sue Walker who ultimately told us we could not have these records (as required by State Law) today or tomorrow (even though the original request was on July 8th) because.....
"We have more important things to do today."
We told her we'd be back tomorrow (Wednesday and it turned out we were rebuffed again).

Last time we attended one of your meetings, the Shoreline School Distirct was celebrating an "Agreement in Principle" with the Shoreline Historical Museum. Unfortunately that was premature apparently because, it has become clear that it was not offered in good faith (by the District). It was a very bad joke on the voters because now we see that bullying is now the new normal at SSD.

 The District has gone back on its promise to help the Museum and is now all about CRUSHING it!

Is this the new educational policy for the District? Take a community asset, a Landmarked building that houses our history and CRUSH IT?

Well, when you go to sell your Bonds (for the HS Rebuild projects), this community will be asking why we should invest in such a reprehensible organization, that treats its home community this way.

How can we support an organization that is all about destroying an irreplaceable asset?

We are not going away and will let the community and taxpayers know what you are doing with 23% of local tax dollars and what you are doing with their trust.
Credit- Shoreline Historical Museum
Ronald School built in 1912


  1. My conclusion to the methods and actions over the last couple of years regarding the following, and after getting at least some of the public records that I requested from SSD:

    The Agreement in Principle for parties to act in good faith-

    SSD: An unfaithful, last minute rabbit-out of-a-hat trick to get their hands on our Bonds.
    Museum: Waaaaay to trusting. I voted NO one the Bond in hopes that we could have leverage to force the SSD to come to it's senses before the next vote 3 months later.

    The early efforts to work with other major entities effected by and with interest in preserving an irreplaceable treasured community asset-

    SSD: Excluding everyone but their own little SSD admin click.
    Musuem: Gave up trying to deal with SSD, but still had a little trust and hope in the, now irresponsible and untrustworthy, leaders and role models for where we send our precious children all day.

  2. The School District wouldn't be building the new school at all if it hadn't been for the Museum's last minute support of the levy. Wasn't that an important part of the Agreement in Principle?

    Lesson learned: don't sign an Agreement in "Principle" with people who are without principles.

    Personally, I want to thank and commend the Museum staff and board for acting honorably throughout this whole sordid affair. I'd like to think that Judge Ronald would feel the same.

  3. Thanks, Janet, for speaking up again for the
    Shoreline Historical Museum (Ronald School)
    What sort of community (i.e. school district)
    can support DESTROYING an historical school building and all that it represents? It is not
    the same school district that educated my children and gave tremendous support to the
    establishment of the Museum in 1976. Barbara Monks

  4. Dear Barbara and Liisa,

    Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

    Yes it IS a "sordid affair". Send letter to the School Board too and Shoreline Area News (on my blog roll at R).