To the editor:
Why do Dorr (and Leighton) people hate Wayland schools?
I first came to this area in 1992 when I moved to Dorr. For several years I ran the summer ball program for Dorr Rec and then started a winter youth basketball program. Because I used the facilities at Dorr and Moline elementaries, I was in frequent contact with WUS officials. When I brought this up at public meetings, I would get an outpouring of anger and even hatred toward Wayland schools.
The perceived attitude was that “Dorr was THEIR school, not Wayland’s,” and that they needed to build their own high school and not send their kids to Wayland. I left Dorr in ’97, not liking many of the people there.
A dozen years later I was running the summer ball program for Wayland schools Comm Ed. I developed an extensive proposal for the enhancement and growth of the Wayland program, which I presented at a public meeting in the middle school. Afterwards, a few people stayed to ask questions. One woman really lit into me and blasted Wayland schools.
It turned out that she came over from Dorr, and wanted to hate on Wayland schools because its summer program was taxpayer funded and we wouldn’t give a single dime to Dorr Rec for their kids. Not a pleasant little exchange!
(Side note: a year later I took the program from Comm Ed and formed a private, non-profit corporation to run the ball program. I set up a board of directors and then I got out.)
When I saw the vote totals by precinct Aug. 2, I was furious at Dorr (and Leighton) townships for destroying the bond issue. Over the past 20 years I’ve had grandchildren in the Wayland ageg roup, middle school and high school swim programs. I’ve seen our kids get screwed because other schools did not want to come here because our pool was non-legal and it damaged their swim times. For years I’ve wanted the pool-related bond issues to pass, and I am really down and upset today.
I’ve never been able to learn the history of Wayland schools. Because of the word “Union,” I assume that, like many school systems in the past, Wayland consolidated outlying schools such as Dorr and Moline. Maybe there were more one-room schools incorporated. Maybe the inclusion of Dorr created a big community fight.
I don’t know, but what did create the animosity of Dorr residents toward Wayland schools? You’ve been around this area a lot longer than me; what do you know of its history? Was there a big fight somewhere in the past?
PS: That same anger also existed in the ball programs. Dorr coaches would do anything, including cheating, to defeat Wayland teams after we introduced inter-league play. And in the past the Wayland Rocket football director got rid of coaches that didn’t beat Dorr teams.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Tom Andrews is the father of the man by the same name who died seven years ago after being recognized for his efforts with the Wayland Athletic Boosters.