The next time it rains, try to run across the block about five houses, and see how wet you get. This is essentially what happens to about 600 Benavente Middle School students and staff every day it rains. Our sixth-grade wing students have to run about 40 yards through the parking lot to get to the main building. Our eighth-grade wing students have to run even farther to get to the next covered walkway.
And, with the passage of the next year’s budget, the Guam Department of Education’s current plan to rebuild Simon Sanchez High School, and GDOE's other plan to spend $10 million to relocate the students from Jose Rios Middle School to Chief Brodie Elementary School to save travel time, it would seem that the students and staff at BMS don’t have much relief in sight.
If we could get used wooden power poles from Guam Power Authority, coupled with their help to put them in the ground, or small donations of money and/or material from many interested parties, we could solve any part of this problem. But, if we could get the governor and the legislature to work together to appropriate money specifically for covered walkways, or a generous philanthropist would find it in their heart, we could solve the whole problem.
We appreciate the many problems GDOE is currently addressing, but collectively, this has to be one of the worst problems GDOE students face because it can't be healthy for so many students and staff to get wet like this several times a day, every day it rains.
Gary Kuper is a resident of Dededo.