Schools kick off bond campaign

Tyrone Walker/Staff Dorchester District 2 hopes voters will approve a bond issue so the school district can replace Rollings Middle School of the Arts, where students leave their backpacks in the hallway due to a lack of space and lockers.

It was as if Mother Nature played a part in Tuesday’s kickoffs of the school-improvement campaigns in Berkeley County and Dorchester District 2.

First the sun shone on Berkeley County officials gathered in front of the 16 trailers and next to the too-small cafeteria at Stratford High School as they announced their campaign, then it poured rain as Dorchester 2 officials waded through puddles into the un-air-conditioned gym at Rollings Middle School of the Arts for their rally.

At both events, community volunteers, administrators, board members, teachers and others explained why they need voters’ support in their Yes 4 Schools bond referendums on Nov. 6.

Schools are overcrowded and inadequate, officials said. Approving the bond issues would mean smaller classes, safer schools, more high-tech learning and better teaching.

The highlight of the rallies was state Rep. Jenny Horne, R-Summervile, who waved pompoms and led the crowd in Rollings in a cheer of “Y-E-S.”

“We know you don’t want to pay more taxes, but this is what you should be doing with tax money,” she said, bringing the crowd to its feet.

Brian Mitchum, co-chair of the Dorchester campaign with Robbie Robbins and Jan Waring-Woods, gave supporters something to think about as he closed the Summerville event.

“Imagine it is five years from now, people have moved into the community, the economy is thriving and there’s no new schools,” he said.

Volunteers and leaders in both districts will now launch campaign blitzes that will include community meetings, mass mailings, phone calls and social media.

Reach Brenda Rindge at 937-5713.