My wife and I and both of our children are Dreher graduates and have always been supporters of District 1. And we don’t live close enough to Dreher to be affected by the added lights or noise that would result from new athletic fields if the Columbia City Council agrees to rezone the property.
But I am very disappointed by the suggestion by the booster club and its past president that they might file a lawsuit if they do not get the answer they want to their zoning request (“With sports field question lingering, is Columbia discriminating against Dreher?,” Sept. 21). More disappointing is their attempt to intimidate the neighborhood and city leaders by suggesting that they are discriminating against the students.
This is a simple case of keeping your word. When the district decided to rebuild Dreher 14 years ago instead of moving it out of the neighborhood, it committed to limiting sports venues and events. It seems now that the district and booster club want to renege on that commitment. I hope our city leaders will value the agreement made by all parties and refuse the rezoning.
In my mind, this is not about the charges of discrimination or the noise or the light or the cost. It is, quite simply, the right thing to do based on prior commitments. To go back on that commitment, as Dreher wants to do, would teach our current Dreher students and other young people that your commitment, your agreement, giving your word do not matter — that you can break them based on convenience.
Is that how Dreher High School now wants to be known? Is this the message we want given to our Richland School District 1 students? Is that the lesson the Dreher booster club and its past president want to teach their children?
Let’s hope not.