Sunday, August 17, 2008

Blog ranting...

By sheer nature, I tend to a person that with strong opinions that is willing to speak my mind. With that said, I also try to be aware of the havoc that personality trait can cause on others, and attempt to temper it with good listening skills and make an effort to think about things before I speak. The result is that sometimes by the time I have thought through my response on an issue, I have worked myself into a real frenzy and the recipient of my opinion gets a REAL earful. In this particular case, I'm going to blog my "earful", as there really isn't anyone in particular at which to direct my frustration. So here's the deal--take it or leave it!

Our school district has, in my opinion, a really fantastic elementary school. The administration has taken huge strides to spend money wisely to keep class sizes small, teacher competence is through the roof, and parent involvement is good (at least up until about Grade 5 or so). I could go on and on about all the terrific programs offered in our primary grades. So my hat is off to our elementary and they are specifically excluded from my about-to-be-rant. 'Nuff said.

Our high school sucks. The female students seem to do okay. The boys are a nightmare. Drug use is rampant, parent involvement is very poor overall, and our student population is comprised of far-too-many losers. Well........guess what? I've got a freshman son, and a son entering Jr. High. Just peachy! Not the greatest environment! However, we have been well aware of the issues at hand, and have stayed put for several reasons. First, we feel strongly that the teaching staff in the school is very, very good. They aren't the problem, and we feel that our children can get a good education at our school, and yes, education is a priority in our family, as opposed to athletics alone. Second, we don't feel that the correct answer is to "run" from your problems. We feel strongly that it is a more important life lesson to teach our children that you deal with life's problems with integrity and honesty, and face them head-on. So........we have chosen to stay put rather than "choice out" to one of our neighboring districts. (By the way, we also feel strongly that our neighboring districts also have many of the same problems--they are simply hiding their problems a bit better at the present time.)

So, Mike and I have attended the last two school board meetings, voiced our concerns, and have felt like we have been treated with great respect. We have been the ONLY parents in attendance over these specific issues, which is somewhat expected, but still appalling. Our school board is willing to take action, and are in the process of making some big decisions. Honestly, I'm not sure of the outcome, but I give them credit for their willingness to try to find solutions rather than just agonize over the problems.

But this evening was a student-athlete meeting at the school, and I was the only mother in attendance for a football player. By far, most of the kids had attended alone without ANY parent, despite the fact that the letter sent home had requested parent attendance. I found myself feeling like the oddball, even while my brain says that I BELONGED there. What more important thing could I possibly do on a Sunday evening than attend a meeting that explains my sons' extracurricular activity for the next 10 weeks!!!!???!!! This is important to my children, and therefore, is important to me!!!

So........I'm left with a feeling of frustration and anger for those parents that can't be bothered. Will they be able to be bothered to pay attention when their child is arrested for drug use? Or when their child doesn't graduate from high school?

Really ticks me off..........Part of me wants to say that its going to serve the parents right when their children fail, but I don't really feel that way at all. For what I see happening is parents failing their children.

No comments: