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EDITORIAL: United For The Common Good

In these divisive times, how often do you see diverse and disparate groups come together to solve a common problem? Very rarely, we would guess.
     Yet, if you tune out the ugliness at the national level and look around locally you can see evidence that people can come together to solve problems despite their different views and concerns.
     Even on the local level, it is not often we see taxpayers, town officials, school officials, unions, parents, teachers, students — who represent nearly all residents in town — come together in a common cause to overcome hurdles and move forward during a pandemic that has challenged efforts to bring a semblance of normalcy to people’s lives.
     It took long hours, a respect for differing views and the inclusion of all interested parties to work out an agreement on how our district schools should open for the fall. The agreement reached is symbolic of what can happen when different groups can agree on a core goal and find ways to achieve that goal through collaboration.
     In this particular instance, town officials in Groton and Dunstable moved CARES Act funds to the school district to help pay for significant costs to meet COVID-19 protocols.
     It took parents and teachers to become involved and voice their opinions about what they want for their children. It took school administrators and the School Committee to listen and process the many and diverse opinions. And, it took a union vote to endorse a plan that they believe will be most beneficial for students and lowest risk for themselves.
     All those actions represent major trust of one another and stands in stark contrast to the mistrust we see on local and network news shows. The union vote to approve the school district’s opening plan could be the first such action in the state.
     Residents of the town should be proud of their local elected and appointed officials who delivered a local initiative (a sound educational plan) that will move the town forward through a pandemic without the blockades and inertia that have gripped many other communities.
     We congratulate all concerned for this tremendous effort.
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