Letter: Please fight against the cuts to music and the arts


To the editor:

The article entitled "Residents question cuts to Barrington sports" (as well as the earlier "Barrington residents: Don't cut our sports") outlines the overwhelming response to the proposed elimination of middle school sports, due to budget cuts sought by the committee on appropriations. 

Amidst the (understandable) outcry, it's easy to miss that, once again, music and the arts are on the chopping block. 

In the past ten years, the Barrington music department has lost one full position, and another was reduced to part-time. Sadly, the last cut was also not noticed by most, as it happened during the outcry over the proposed elimination of wood shop at the middle school. 

We now face the possibility that another music position may be eliminated. With it will go everything that music provides: creativity, improvisational thinking, math, ELA, and social studies support, not to mention the pure enjoyment that comes with an appreciation for the arts. 

I urge my fellow residents to fight these cuts, as well as those to home economics, foreign language, art and library. In the end, these are the places that the budget ax usually falls. 

David J. Lauria


Mr. Lauria is choral director at Mt. Hope High School.


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Diane Vanner Steinberg

I've been an English teacher for over 35 years, and education -- to be successful -- must encompass much more than "reading, writing, and 'rithmetic." Arts education is absolutely crucial to brain development, and also keeps students connected emotionally to their schools and to their schooling. Music and drama are often "group art forms," encouraging cooperation just as well as a sports team. Spend money wisely -- spend it on student learning.

Thursday, May 18 | Report this

Sorry Mr. Lauria,

Schools in today's world (it won't always be this way), but in today's society we would rather put helmets on our children and teach them to bash one another so that concussions will deteriorate their brains. We call it football, and it dominates over the Arts and educational achievement. How many of these high school footballers actually go on to a profession in the sport--not many, yet, we praise a kid who can throw a football more than we praise a student with high grades. Luckily, most of these student athletes put all of their time and effort into bashing each others heads in so that when they get out of High School and/or college they have no idea how to achieve in a world without sports. They will have a greater chance of living a life with painkiller addiction then they will being a professional football player. Team building can be achieved without the use of force- sorry all of you ego driven parents who will defend this ridiculous position of allowing football to be on the top of our education platform.

Saturday, May 20 | Report this

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.