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Somewhere along the way, Bettendorf leaders have been misguided.

A misconception is being propagated by several athletic organizations, coaches and employees affiliated with Bettendorf Schools that in order to get new athletic facilities built, they must support closing elementary schools. Emails sent to parents giving false information and outwardly encouraging support of closing elementary schools so they can directly benefit from new fitness centers and gyms. Implying these go hand in hand is deceptive and disregards the southside neighborhoods these elementary schools serve. Yet the administration has done nothing to prevent this feud from occurring.

For years, this community has expressed their firm commitment to neighborhood schools. This commitment has been acknowledged by past and present school boards, including current board president. Yet when the administrators presented their plan it was devoid of anything resembling past work and recommendations of committees, architects, builders or the community. Not to mention the countless wasted hours and dollars spent on this planning process? Why is this blatant disregard for these stakeholders being tolerated?

There’s a political game being played in Bettendorf and it’s being orchestrated by administrators. Let’s not be fooled. Neither new athletic facilities nor updated buildings should be demonized. Both are legitimate desires of this community. Because Bettendorf is in an excellent financial position, both can be accomplished. Shame on the Bettendorf Administration for creating this unnecessary battle and the school board if they allow it to continue.

Joanna Doerder