My husband and I put forth time, energy and money to update our home. Whether voluntary or involuntary, our actions are driven by the reality that time erodes and our home demands attention.

Perhaps it’s replacing a leaky faucet, carpet bearing years of traffic, an outdated HVAC system or dry rot, to a homeowner or renter, your home is personal. We value our living conditions, and we desire comfort, functionality, and safety in our personal spaces.

Homeowners undertake such daunting projects, and renters place undoubted pressure on landlords to act responsibly, although ignoring such tasks may be easier. Will it cost? Yes. Materials and labor are not free, but if disregarded, a broken and unreliable home structure can have negative repercussions.

For a child, a school is a home.

In the Roseburg public school system, the 11 schools are community homes to approximately 6,300 Roseburg students and 400 faculty. Children spend 8+ hours a day in facilities that are in dire need of updates, new buildings, and improved security systems.

I have seen firsthand in classrooms, hallways, cafeterias, gyms, and libraries the importance of a school. Our children live, breathe, eat, play, and learn here. For many, it is their second home. Our children should believe that community adults prioritize their needs to be comfortable while they learn, to be safe while attending, to enjoy functioning buildings, and to access an environment they are worthy of.

All of our students deserve this support and, whether they’re your own children or not, they are everyone’s future. It is our community responsibility to provide for them as they grow.

So, if taking care of and upgrading your own personal home is worth it, maybe it’s time to do the same for the schools our children also live in. Vote “Yes” on 10-173.

Gwen Bartlett, Roseburg


This Letter to the Editor originally appeared May 6, 2020 on nrtoday.com and can be viewed here.