To the Editor:
From the point of view of student and community health, environmental health, financial impacts, and basic equity, the artificial turf project at the MVRHS elicits extreme cognitive dissonance.
Why cognitive dissonance? Because the project’s premises and projected outcomes fly in the face of myriad widely acknowledged goods in these categories.
Why equity? Because the campaign prioritizes the desires of a restricted group of participants over all of the above acknowledged goods, to the detriment of all, including this restricted group (but most of them are teenagers and therefore cannot be expected to take a long view).
When viewed through an equity lens, the project is obviously massively unfair, and hence indefensible.
In the context of the school and its specific mission, a narrowly defined athletic “need,” which itself is questionable, is privileged by the turf advocates over more significant needs of all of the other students and staff: for desperately needed building repairs, possible future expansion, and, not least, other educational and support programs.
In a wider context, turf advocates ignore or trivialize the negative impacts to the surrounding community, the region, and the earth. They even ignore potential harm to student athletes themselves, and the burden this will place on families and medical facilities.
Student athletes and their sponsors cannot be allowed to be the de facto arbiters of how this community deploys its limited funds, nor to set de facto current and future limits on how successfully the Island can ensure a local healthy environment and improve the regional and worldwide environment.
One further point: If this project is approved, the Vineyard (and the MVC, by the way) will take a big hit as a voice and beacon for environmental restraint and self-discipline.
The campaign for artificial turf at the MVRHS is an exercise in selfishness and delusion that has already wasted significant resources.