Letter: Article 41 on Williamstown Town Meeting Warrant

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To the Editor:

The town warrant for the upcoming town meeting has just been published. Many people think Article 41 warrants thought and discussion prior to the meeting. Here it is verbatim below:

Article 41. We the undersigned citizens [they are not listed on the warrant] of Williamstown submit this petition to respectfully request the amendment of bylaw 4.12a to include the display of the Progress Pride flag (designed by Daniel Quasar) as an expression of the Town's official sentiments.

WHEREAS: Inclusion and Representation: The addition of a Progress Pride flag to the list of flags permitted for display by the Town is essential to reflect the diversity and inclusivity of our community. It serves as a meaningful gesture of respect, support, and recognition of the LGBTQ+ individuals and allies with the Town of Williamstown.
WHEREAS: Symbol of Equality and Unity: A Progress Pride flag is globally recognized as a symbol of equality, acceptance, and unity. By officially allowing the display of a Progress Pride flag alongside other recognized flags, the Town of Williamstown can showcase its commitment to fostering an inclusive and supportive environment for all residents, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
WHEREAS: Importance of Visibility: Public visibility of the Progress Pride flag serves to create a sense of belonging, safety and affirmation for LGBTQ+ individuals and their families. It sends a powerful message of solidarity and support, contributing to a more welcoming and cohesive community.

WHEREAS: As concerned citizens, we believe that the inclusion of the Progress Pride flag in the official display of flags aligns with the values of diversity, equality and inclusivity that we hold dear in our community.
Bylaw 4.12a shall be amended to say, "and fourth, a Progress Pride flag."

The DIRE Committee unanimously recommends the adoption of this article.
The Select Board unanimously recommends the adoption of this article.

Donna Wied
Williamstown, Mass.




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On a IV-II Vote, Mount Greylock Keeps Latin Program

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A divided Mount Greylock Regional School Committee on Tuesday voted to restore the middle-high school's Latin program for the 2024-25 academic year and beyond.
Six members of the committee attended the special meeting called last week to decide on whether to keep Mount Greylock a two-world language school or only offer Spanish to incoming seventh-graders starting in the fall.
Steven Miller moved at the outset of Tuesday's session that the School Committee utilize more or less $66,000 from the committee's reserves to close a funding gap for fiscal year 2025 and commit to funding Latin until at least next year's seventh-graders have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement Latin, presumably in their senior year of 2029-30.
Miller was joined by Jose Constantine, Curtis Elfenbein and Ursula Maloy in voting in favor of the plan. Christina Conry and Carolyn Greene voted against Miller's motion.
Conry noted that in the school year that just ended, Mount Greylock had just 58 students enrolled in Latin across six different grade levels (an average of just fewer than 10 per grade), as opposed to 300 students studying Spanish.
Prior to this spring's announcement that the school would not offer Latin 7 (for seventh-graders) or Latin 8 in 2024-25, there were 15 students signed up for the former and just 10 for the latter.
Historically, over the last nine years, Mount Greylock's student population studying the classic language went from 103 in 2015-16 to 58 last year, with a spike of 148 in the 2018-19 academic year, according to figures the administration provided the School Committee on Tuesday.
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