“Dear Central…”: An Open Letter From Central Alumni To The Senior Class

This week we received a letter from Central High alumni, Philip Lindsay. We have re-printed it in its entirety below.

Dear Central Students,

My name is Philip Lindsay and I am a graduate of Central High School’s 268th class. I am writing to you to tell you a bit about my experiences at Central and to encourage you to speak out against the Corbett administration during the Governor’s upcoming visit. His administration has done great harm to public schools like Central throughout Pennsylvania.

My time at Central was crucial to my development as a critical thinker. Teachers like Ms. Finkle ( U.S. Government and Psychology) and Ms. Hansbury (World Conflicts) taught me that by closely examining and debating our views of the world we might arrive at a richer understanding of it. I heard there were rumors that you’ve been threatened with having your privileges, like prom, revoked if you so little as protest the Governor’s visit or embarrass him in any way. I find that very offensive. Central should be embarrassed to demand this of you. You should never be ashamed to speak your mind or ask difficult questions to those in authority, especially when you feel betrayed or taken advantage of- and do not be fooled, the Governor is visiting Central to take advantage of you.

As you know, the budget cuts hurt Central severely, just as it hurt other schools across the state. Our school was irreparably changed as programs were cut, people were fired and resources were taken away. Governor Corbett’s administration is largely responsible for this. It is his responsibility to manage the finances of the state and for the last few years he has done it on the backs of students like you. Yet that same Governor now arrives at your doorstep and expects you to sit passively while he parades himself in front of the media as a “supporter” of your school. This is clearly a self-serving political move on his part, just in time for the 2014 election. Those who pretend otherwise are insulting your intelligence.

You might be hesitant to act in ways that will be scrutinized as “inappropriate” or “impolite” by some. You might also, understandably, be hesitant to lose your chance to attend prom or to go on class trips. But do not let these insecurities or inappropriate threats overshadow the opportunity you have to speak out against the Corbett administration’s actions on your home turf. I urge you to do so. There have been hundreds of CHS proms and trips. But you have to opportunity to be the students who stood up for millions of young people across Pennsylvania who’s voices have been silenced, and held the Governor responsible for his devastating policies and attacks on your education. Governor Corbett comes to praise the best school in the state. Are we also going to be remembered as the best at keeping quiet when it mattered the most?

Sincerely, Philip Lindsay Central High School Alumnus (268)

This letter has also been signed on to by Central alumni representing different graduating classes:

Mak Sarich Jennifer Younge Clio Brown Maham Risvi Kayin Malcom Annie Li Kim Wong-Shing Ian Lewis Prithi Chandra Angela Leonardo Ed Deleo Mike Deleo Amelia Field Blanda Darryle Ulama Tarek Khader Stacy Jebett Bullard Yevgeniy Levich Michael Bursack Ahmed Ahmed Scott Bounpraseuth Lilly Kay Jenny Zeng Leah Houck Christina Hoang Kerry Quinn Aida Vega Ju Ivey Miriam Powell Terrell Green Constance Johnson Benjamin Wilson Eric To Cathy Peace Pagan Joel Michel Zachary Carduner James Heff Younge Goda Savulionyte Gerard Franklin Michelle Shaw Tori DeCristoforo Charlotte Delouch Nehad Aliyah Kate Marshall Anita Rose Davidson Julie Touchstone Janette Cheung Asha Davis Dorothy Smith Damon Raynor Ha Truong Dasha Savage Sabrina Schaeffer Montez Smith Martin Martir Nykia Davis-Bradley Erica Gendall-Conrad Sarah Greenberg Camillia McKay Nadira Tarboro Nhat-Khanh Truong Brendan Cooper Takiva Pierce Jordan Kutzik Ayashe Jamison Ellen Kaufmann Julianna Bursack Latisha Pavy Maham Rizvi Ju Ivey Eric To Victoria Chau Marcus Simmons Daniel Zinshteyn Malori Hollomon Jennifer Young Steve Aronson Patricia Wong Ellisa Cruz Wineska Diaz Jane Majewski Chantelle O’Kelly Ana Koerner Zach Nichols Richard Michel Meaghan F. Washington Abby Kalkstein Devon Honeyman Nyeemah Kennedy Ari Fish Lauren Stander Jasmine Ingram Linda Malinowski Tyland Rennick Sydney Andrews Chansophea Ten Leah Bakely Louis Ashodian Rana Elysayed Tyshia Rennick Vilma Zinshteyn Jasmine McDuffie Tiara Swain Carlo Makarechi Ben Dichter Matthew Fishman-Dickerson Steven Yanoff Julia Yanoff

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