Thursday, May 1, 2008

NIMBYism over a Baltimore City School

The Baltimore Sun reports that residents of the now expensive neighborhood of Canton (which was just a rundown neighborhood 15 years ago) are protesting Baltimore City schools decision to build a new school within their neighborhood.

Excerpt from article:
"Every single child in the city deserves a great school regardless of who their parents are, where they're born, what their economic situation is," Alonso (CEO of Balt. City Schools) said. "Let's make no mistake about it: This is about social justice."

A school? How elitist can a neighborhood be when a school becomes a NIMBYism. Obviously the protest of a new city school when so many inner-city schools need vast physical improvements shows that the neighborhood either does not have many school aged children or that school aged children do not attend public schools.

Excerpt from the article
"...That doesn't sit well with some residents of the gentrified neighborhood, many of whom do not send their own children to the school and say students have caused repeated problems."

What can be more anti-neighborhood and anti-community then allowing a school to come into your neighborhood. Schools are usually the lynchpin of a community. I find it perplexing that citizens would actually protest a public land use that they pay taxes on. While the Canton neighborhood is a very pricey neighborhood that pays a fair share of city taxes, it is still a public neighborhood that uses public resources and infrastructure like any other city neighborhood. If residents want to control public land uses then they should move to a private community.

Excerpt from the article:
"Houses that used to go at public auction for a dollar are now going for hundreds of thousands of dollars, and we're giving the city a lot of revenue," she said. "We don't want to feel unsafe in our neighborhood, and we don't want to lose the ability to sell our homes at fair-market value."

As equally as sad as residents protesting a school is the fact that inner-city schools have become NIMBY land use. Now their have always been neighborhoods that have objected to schools for a litany of reasons such as the age of a community, traffic, noise and parking that a heavily used land use would create. But this is not why residents are objecting to the school, they are objecting to the school because of the actual students that come to the school. It's sad when there is a distrust of a community's own children to the point where residents would rather reject them then to interact with them.

What is your opinion? Leave a reply with your comments.

1 comment:

dizzle said...

That's rough. But as a part of the city, it's not like they can do anything but protest. And any attention the story gets is only going to make the people protesting look bad, no?