For many in Larchmont and Mamaroneck, it began with a flyer in their mailbox:
“It is important to know what is going on in our School District,” it reads. “We ask that you attend and think about any concerns or questions that you may have.”
Thus began the most recent chapter in the debate over whether to allow a proposed Open Door Health Clinic to operate at Mamaroneck Ave. Elementary School. Open Door provides health and human services to low income residents. Children attending schools in the District where the clinics are housed may receive health care at no cost, if they are enrolled.
Port Chester, with a high percentage of low income residents, has an Open Door Clinic in its school system.
But part of the flyer had some thinking about the real concerns of those opposed:
“Is it fair to compare our School District with neighboring school systems that have School-Based Health Clinics (SBHC) when it is more factually and demographically accurate to compare our district with similar school districts located in (bold face as written on flyer) Scarsdale, Harrison, Chappaqua and Bedford.”
While this week’s presentation by the SBHC Task Force to the School Board shows the District may benefit from more health care for low-income pupils, opponents say they fear their children might be exposed to sick kids, increased security issues, with more people inside the school building, and “the integrity of the Mamaroneck School District.”
School Board member Ann LoBue tells theLoop, “Our next step is to set aside time at an upcoming public meeting to discuss and understand what’s involved in doing a more formal needs assessment. We haven’t set a date for this yet. “
What do you think?
photo: Robert Flood