Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Change is in the numbers

Last night there was a parent council meeting at my daughter's school and it was a tense affair.  The school board trustee came to tell us that the school, which is currently a K to 6 school, will have grade 6 removed and relocated to a nearby school that is currently 7/8.  Elli's current school is insanely overcrowded as it stands, can't reasonably be enlarged, and has no space to use portables.  There is no room for the kids now and things are definitely going to get worse over the next few years.  Something has to be done and after the announcement I felt like the decision was definitely the best one for the school and the kids.

The other parents did not agree with me.

There was a petition there, which was basically a bunch of signatures under the statement "Please do not take childhood from our children" or something similar.  Honestly, that statement describes nothing about what the current plan is, has no alternative, and is the kind of thing everyone signs without thinking.  (I don't, mind you, but I am weird that way.)  The parents objecting to the changes and bringing the petition were really upset, to the extent that some were tearing up at the thought of their children being put through this new system.

They had lots of objections which ranged from simply requesting that nothing happen, to suggesting that other schools bear the brunt instead, to essentially begging the trustee to not put their 11 year old children in with 13 year olds.  I couldn't quite wrap my mind around that one considering right now the school has 11 year olds mixing with 4 year olds, and that gap seems considerably more extreme!  I really wanted to speak up and voice my support for the plan because even though my daughter will be caught right on the edge of it and will have to do grade 6 in another school I can see that this is a necessary step.  It isn't as though she will be doing grade 6 in a labour camp... it is in the same school she would be going to for grade 7 and 8 anyway!

I ended up just saying nothing.  It was obvious that this wasn't an attempt to ask the parents for feedback as everyone knew the feedback would be "No way!"  It was just the powers that be informing us what would happen.  I expect some of the other parents agreed with me but all the people talking were the ones distraught over the changes.  I think all I would have accomplished by speaking up is to get angry people upset at me directly and I can't see how that helps anything - the decision is made, everyone will just have to get used to it.

1 comment:

  1. I suspect the people who made the decision would have appreciated you speaking up in support. It kind of seems like a situation you might relish - the chance to inform the uninformed and make the world slightly better!

    And if you did it right, it might ease some of the concerns of the other parents. You make excellent points here about "it's just shifting one year earlier" and "does anyone have an alternate proposal to address the real problems we're facing?"

    And maybe with some fulsome discussion you'd have learned that the Grade 7 school is a haven of drugs and violence and the real reason everyone protests is they want another year to train their darlings in martial arts and maybe win the lottery so they can go to private school...