There isn’t a parent out there who hasn’t agonized over the decision of where to send their child to school. It’s in the back of every childless couples’ minds as they buy their first home and keeps every new parent up at night. It’s an important decision, one that doesn’t just effect the child’s future but the parents’. The best you can hope for is passionate hardworking teachers and compassionate diplomatic administrators–people who care about your child’s future as much as you do. But the awful truth about the public school system is that it’s broken in more ways than one.
There’s always that one teacher who hasn’t cared about her students in ten years but still won’t retire. Or the coach with no compassion who leaves emotional scars on his students long after they’ve graduated. Or the principle who rules with an iron fist and a heavy dose of manipulation, scaring her teachers into silent complacency.
You could say these are just stereotypes, but I can recall someone from my school days to fit every single one. I know most of you probably can too. How is that possible when we’ve all grown up in different communities in different cities across the country? It’s possible because somewhere along the way parents felt helpless, people stopped caring, and things got political. And now children’s futures are at risk. Because we forgot that it’s supposed to be all about them. Not who has power and who doesn’t. The bureaucratization of our public schools is robbing them of their futures and we’re not doing enough to stop it.
It’s time to stop letting policy makers and bullying bureaucrats strong arm our school boards into making decisions that don’t reflect our communities and values. It’s time to start showing up and getting loud. Parents need to have a voice. They need to be aware and involved and so do the rest of us. Because whether you have a school-aged child or not, the failure of our schools effects all of us. If one school district thinks it can get away with corrupt and atrocious behavior, the district in your community could be next. Greed is a beast that is never satisfied and we can’t allow it to effect the way our children learn. Teachers need support, parents need more control, and students need to be surrounded by adults who care about nurturing their potential and helping them succeed.
My cousin is the Assistant Principal of Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD and she’s been placed on administrative leave for a health reason that is both discriminatory and illegal. She’s an amazing educator who has always gone above and beyond for her students and someone I have always deeply admired for that reason. Unfortunately, she along with other staff members and parents tried to take a stand against an abusive administration on behalf of the students they care about, and are now being harassed, discriminated against, and punished for their actions. Now other parents and members of the community are demanding that an investigation be done, not only to vindicate the people who have been hurt in this situation, but to fix what is broken in this school district so that its students can once again have a safe place to learn and grow.
This is a school in a small suburb outside of Ft. Worth, TX, but what’s happening there is happening in school districts all over the country. It could be happening in yours, or if not now, someday. Someday you might feel just as helpless as these parents or just as terrified as these teachers. Someday you might be faced with a school board that doesn’t understand, nor deeply care about the true needs of your child. Someday you might realize that fighting for your child’s future is more dangerous and requires more sacrifices than you could have ever imagined. Or maybe there is no someday. Maybe the fight starts today.
If you care about your community, your children’s futures, and the amazing educators who help cultivate those futures, please consider reading more about the situation at Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD, watching this video, and signing this petition.