Polk Center serves a special purpose and must be saved

Karl E. Sparn Jr.

Slippery Rock

I have been in both personal and official contact with elected officials and close friends regarding the Polk State Center issue. Please be advised that every effort and all resources need to be applied to keep this and other state centers open to the public.

I have been in public education for 50-plus years, and the greatest insult and failure to our national educational system was former President Jimmy Carter’s Department of Education in 1978.

Mainstreaming and subjecting individuals with serious and substantial disabilities to regular programs and facilities is a very abusive and damaging process. Everyone being treated the same might look and sound equal, and appear honest, but the results are less than rewarding.

Halfway houses, out-patient clinics and neighborhood housing facilities only subject the very delicate members of our society – and the most in need – to the brutality of mankind.

The Polk and White Haven state centers can be strengthened and better used by bringing in a larger patient base and using the many current programs – and those yet to be established and/or retired back into the facilities curriculum. Polk is a treasured landmark, one that has served Pennsylvania with great pride and humility. The loss of a facility with such a beautiful campus and environs would be, and will be, irreplaceable.

We need it; we have it; we desire it; we need to cherish it ... and keep it! Everyone, please engage your efforts to help rescue this historic establishment.

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