| Jun 22, 2006

Feature Article - June 22, 2006

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Feature Article - June 22, 2006

Who cares about a burnt up sugar shack? Editorial by JeffGreen

Not the administration at the Sharbot Lake High School , it would seem.

When a sugar shack that was located a very short walk from school property burnt down two weeks ago, it came after a long history of complaints from the building’s owners, the Ferguson family, about break ins and fires at the building. The fence between the two properties had been broken down by unknown persons, and the ground had been mounded up on either side of the fence for easy access. It is possible to leave the gym door of the school and walk to where the shack was in a couple of minutes, at the most.

Yet, the school administration took the position that as the building is not on school property, its destruction is entirely a police matter.


The Ontario Provincial Police have not given this matter much attention. The fire is under investigation, however, police are saying they are waiting for the Central Frontenac Fire Department to determine the cause of the fire. The Fire Chief, however, says that it will be difficult to determine the cause. Whether the fire was started deliberately or accidentally, it is very unlikely any evidence will be found.

Meanwhile the students at the school are now in the midst of writing exams, and will be beginning to disperse at the end of this week.

Path to Sharbot LakeHighSchool In my view, based on the fact that the building had no hydro and no flammables were stored there, it burned down at the end of a school day on a sunny afternoon after a rainy weekend, there have been complaints about student vandalism in the past, and the fence was broken precisely at the point where the Ferguson property came close to a nature path on the school grounds, the OPP and the school administration should have at least engaged the students in the school about what happened.

It would not be right to assume that the fire was caused by a student or students from the school, but it is negligent to assume it was not caused by a student from the school.

The current school administration has suspended students for throwing snowballs on school property, but does not think they should say anything at all to the students about this fire.

A large portion of our property taxes go to the school board and the Ontario Provincial Police, and both institutions are well funded through provincial income taxes.

For both of these institutions to wash their hands of this matter is unacceptable.

- JG

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