Last week I was stretched further than I ever could have thought my life would lead. I slept fewer hours, advocated for my kids more, and fought harder for my district this past week than I ever have before. Tonight I'm exhausted and yet sleep is still not close by. I have a full night ahead of me as I begin the initial stages of planning a Book Fair and a number of other odds and ends to finish up.
Sometimes I begin to doubt myself. Am I doing the right thing? What motivates me to do what I'm doing? Why have I become so involved?
I'm involved because this is my children's education. I demand to be involved in the process, and it's my right as their parent. I've said it before that I firmly believe I am their best advocate, and NO ONE will fight as hard for them for what is best for them. We picked our home to buy because of the elementary school in the back yard. I've written before on how much I love this village. Safe to say, I have zero interest in moving into another school district because of the dysfunction that is going on in my own. The schools my children attend, the teachers who educate my kids, the administrators in charge...all of them are fantastic. That's why I will always choose our public school system.
My children will benefit from the public school system because I pay school taxes, and because I pay school taxes, I will hold those in power in my school district accountable for the decisions they make with our money. I may not agree with some of their decisions, but I want them to know that someone is noticing. For too many years, I was guilty of not paying attention and not caring about that level of action within the school district. Now that I know...I can't sit quietly.
I'd be lying if I said that I didn't care that the balance of power on my school board did a complete 180-degree turn since the new board members were seated in July. I didn't necessarily agree with the direction that the last school board was going in, but that's how democracy works. I'd be lying if the power shift didn't bother me because the decisions made in these last 90 days have been hasty, illogical, and ill-informed. The power shift bothers me because it has only been beneficial to a select group of a very few individuals that doesn't include a school district of children.
I care about this district with a sincere passion. I care because there are parents, teachers, and children who have been wronged. I care because there is a method of communication being used to spread lies about individuals, lies about our district, and lies about their own intentions. I care, because despite it's title, it is one of the most UNETHICAL things that I've ever read. When children are victimized, and others' personal information is divulged through the words of little adults who won't even make themselves publicly known, I begin to lose all manner of respect. So yes, I care. I care for those whose voices have been silenced.
I do this because I'm completely fed up with false information. I have personally been lied to, and I have also been given misinformation...whether that person was (again) lying to myself and others in the community or not, I don't know. I do find it difficult to believe that they had merely been misinformed. These are people in our school district who were elected to KNOW what is going on. Yet with one simple, little FOIL (Freedom of Information Law) request, I was able to get the correct information and determine that indeed - they are lying to the district and the community or they really haven't got a clue as to what they're doing. The jury is still out as to which.
This is why I'm involved, why I stay informed, and why I am determined that things will get better. Yes, I'm tired of attending every little meeting that is called but I will continue to do so. I only look forward to the day when those meetings begin to become productive, and decisions are made in the very best interest of our school district instead of individual motives.