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August 13, 1999

The Frontier school district in northeastern Noble county holds some unique and admirable distinctions. For one thing, the system is regarded as one of the most technologically advanced schools in Oklahoma -- tops, perhaps, even on a national level. It has 350 computers, at least one in every classroom. Buildings, facilities and the entire campus are a sight to behold and would make any district proud. The basketball team knows how to win state championships. Student needs are being met in a positive way. Thanks to revenue generated by the nearby OG&E Sooner power station, the school district has few financial worries.

But all is not well up there. A bitter dispute has erupted and is still simmering. It involves no less than the faculty, administration, school board, parents and students, as well as most of the townspeople, the school's patrons. It would be unseemly to discuss or comment on the difficulties in this space, but by now you have read about them elsewhere and from that you can pretty well gauge the depth of the controversy. It is a troubled time for the people of Frontier district, which consists of the former Red Rock and Marland districts. Before the merger and before the OG&E windfall came to pass, Frontier district people experienced some lean years and they know what it is like to pinch every penny. But, as we have heard many times, money alone cannot solve problems.

What we can do is sympathize with them and hope that the differences can be smoothed out before the new term is fully underway. Students, teachers and parents need to be able to concentrate on educating the minds of young people, and part of that means demonstrating rational and civil resolutions to issues that are bound to occur in life. Nothing, with the possible exception of a church fight, is more destructive to a community than a heated fight over school affairs. If you have been involved in something of that sort, you know how true it is. This one needs to be settled harmoniously soon and then forgotten.

Let's hope the good folks in the Frontier district can reach an amicable settlement of this argument, then join hands again and get on with the very important business of providing a quality education for the young people who attend school there.