Letter to the Editor

Friday, September 8, 2017

To The Editor

There has been an announcement that the Home Economics classes will be eliminated from the schools in Marshall County – I have not heard about the shop classes yet, but I am sure that is next!

When I was a student at M.C.H.S. we had the privilege of taking three years of Home Economics. Our teacher was very thorough in her instructions. In my home, my mother taught me the basics of sewing, food preparation and preservation, and some advice on decorating.

How will the next generation be able to run a home and teach their children the skill of doing these things?

I was of the generation where most mothers stayed home and taught their children, but there were so many fellow students in my children’s classes that did not have the benefit of having a parent or grandparent to teach them the art of planning and cooking a balanced, healthy meal, cleaning and organizing a home, sewing clothes, or even something as simple as mending a tear or sewing on a button that had fallen off. For many others, it was not having a parent or grandparent to show them how to use simple tools such as a hammer and nails, a saw, how to change the oil in the car, simple electrical repairs, weld metal, change a tire, etc. Most mothers and fathers were working to pay for that nice new car, the latest fashionable clothes and shoes, or a swimming pool.

Why would the educational system want to deprive ANY student of learning trades that can help them not only make a living, but things that are needed almost daily in everyday life. Not everyone is interested in algebra, trigonometry, chemistry, computers, or other subjects like that.

Right now, we NEED trade careers. Sometimes college professors think that all there is in life is to sit behind a desk, work on a computer, shuffle papers, attend meetings, etc. when it is now getting to the point those jobs are saturated with applicants. There are not enough applicants for jobs that are desperately needed to do such essential skills as repair air conditioning and heating, clothing repairs, plumbing, repairing automobiles, electrical work, etc.

Home economics and shop has started many young people on a life-long career of dietetics, nutritionists, chefs, HVAC, mechanics, welder, cabinet maker – try finding someone to help with a project and it is almost impossible to find qualified people that show up on time, do a good job, and are qualified to perform what is needed due to lack of training or discipline.

Just learning how to sew on a button, mend a small tear, fix a light switch, or repair a shutter on a window is becoming a lost art and if home economics and shop are eliminated, this wonderful America, as we now know it, is doomed.

Marcella Spence

1354 Spence Lane

Lewisburg, TN 37091

Editor’s Note: The Tribune did follow up with the Marshall County School Board with Ms. Spence’s concerns.

According to Director of Schools Jacob Sorrells, what are considered to be traditional home economics classes were phased out at Marshall County High School before the last school year.

Interest and enrollment in those classes had been declining for years.

“Frankly, nobody was signing up for them anymore,” Sorrells said.

The system has replaced those classes with a course on teaching as a profession.

As far as shop classes, Spot Lowe offers excellent programs and is widely regarded as one of the best technical education sites in the region.

If anything, programs there will only expand in the future.