THIS GUEST OPINION PIECE BY: Kevin Alves, a 36-year-old father of three and a lifelong New Bedford resident. It is in response to this SouthCoast Voices piece regarding Alma del Mar charter school.

Regardless of the fake and manipulated numbers that are allowed to circulate in these articles here are some hard facts that can't be disputed.

I have three children in this school. All with different abilities and disabilities. The discussion my wife and I had before Alma was even a school was simple: where do we send our child to give him the best chance at a good life, a great education without him being bullied and dragged down?

After my wife sat in the library and listened to Will Gardner talk about his goals for the school she knew that Alma was the right choice for us. Knowing and trusting her, I followed right behind her. Fast forward all these years and that son is in seventh grade with another in fifth and a daughter in kindergarten. Of all the decisions we made in our life together, I'm most happy that I left this one totally to her.

I am not here to say that Alma is perfect or for everyone, but nothing is in life. For anyone to deny that this school has had a positive impact on children is a flat-out liar. These suits and union teachers that want to keep saying how the school takes money and picks its students, and isn’t making the scholars’ lives better, are lying.

There is a saying that stuck with my wife and it is "there are no passengers, only crew.” That, my friends who have taken the time to read this, is what this school, in particular, is about. Staff, scholars, parents, all crew! All working together for one common goal, to get these kids the education they deserve!

Now I will not sit here and make up all these numbers that will support what I'm saying, because unlike all the other stuff you have read trying to bring this school down, I'm speaking of facts from my heart. Not some numbers I made up to support my argument. You can find and manipulate numbers to support you, but real-life experiences are just that—REAL.

Please, citizens of the city I have always called home, don't let these people whose only reason for fighting against this school is their wallet tell you what to think. They pretend to have the kids’ best interest, they pretend to care about your money, but they care only about protecting themselves.

If Alma was perfect that would be amazing, but I've yet to find anyone or anything that is. But they do more for these kids then most will ever know. As I stated before, all three of my children are already there. I have no need to support a new school for personal reasons. The only reason I have to write this is that I want all the kids in this city to have a choice, an option for parents.

So to close, I won't tell you what or how to think, but I will ask you to see that the only truth is that our children in this city deserve this!

Editor's Note: 'SouthCoast Voices' is a series of guest opinions from newsmakers across the region, on relevant issues that directly impact the people of Greater New Bedford and the surrounding communities. The opinions are solely those of the author. If you are interested in contributing, please contact tim@wbsm.com for more information.