Just a quick update on my email to seven Board of Education members, Superintendent, and Asst Superintendent in my home school district (in which rather attractive husband and I have 4 children), conveying concern of excessive security presence and disciplinary actions against all students regardless of crime, creating a learning environment based on fear.
If you missed my rant, you can catch up quick here. Go forth; read; and get angry.
Zero tolerance is not just suffocating students in my town, and it’s not just this mom mouthing off.
Proof: Great reads by John W. Whitehead & Lew Rockwell.com at SOTT.NET (Sign of the Times); Gara LaMarche on Zero Tolerance at Youthtoday.com; or my favorite, Patrick Boyle and Karen Pittman on the damage done when kids are deprived of their school community.
Zero tolerance is what’s being taught in school today: kids can’t make mistakes – not ever. And the definition of those mistakes is not at all up for discussion or review.
In my brief email, I shared my concerns on adding yet another Assistant Principal to our high school (which already has 3 APs and a King), especially in a time of budgetary restrictions.
Hearing nothing, I then blogged on my town’s rampant zero tolerance and security riddled disciplinary efforts of not only my district, but a practice endemic to our (educationally lagging) country.
People, I have nothing to report.
Despite strong local support to my Zero Tolerance on Zero Tolerance blog, I have yet to hear back from ANYONE originally addressed in my email. (not fair: I cc’d two local legislative council members who had originally encouraged me to write the BOE. Both responded immediately thanking me for sharing my thoughts.)
Parents, like students, just want to be heard. To know we are indeed an active participant in our children’s education. That students, parents, educators, and administrators all have ideas and thoughts that indeed matter.
“Thanks, we’ll get back to you.”
“It’s not that easy…”
“Your email is being reviewed by our legal team.”
“You are just not aware of the back story…”
“We appreciate you taking the time from parenting, working, cleaning, momming, exercising, healing to write to us. We will take your concerns into consideration at our next meeting.”
“Sorry, but no one else feels this way. You are, in fact, an anomaly.”
Say something. Say anything. But silence is a big fat fuck you to me.
To make matter worse, the responses via email, text, phone calls and soccer sidelines, parking lots and grocery stores from local readers who know exactly who and what I’m writing about, is indeed positive, but they won’t comment, share, or otherwise come forward because they “want to keep their jobs” and “still have kids in the schools.”
Hmmmm. Looks like the kids aren’t the only ones afraid of zero tolerance around these here parts.
That’s awful they can’t even give you an official blow off. Stupid school board.
Have written a letter or 2 in my day despite fact that I’m a BOE employee. So I take the “want to keep their jobs” jab a tad personally. (I’ll get over it.)
Anyway, seems to me, that despite our passionate opposition to how our teens are handled by our administrators, we are in the minority. Lots and lots and lots of parents have no objection. Sometimes I think we’re the outliers.
Kathy (p/t writer, f/t mom)
@Mrs.Tuna: still no official blow off. Plan on attending BOE mtg and asking if their reply key is broken.
@TRACE: keep writing & thx for having my back. it’s u&me girl so keep writing. But the dozen+ on payroll are vying for their job over kids protection. Fact.