Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Heavy On My Mind

Growing up until I was about 12, my family moved around a bit - Detroit, Charleston, Nashville, Atlanta (some twice)...new schools and new houses.

It's not like there was deep emotional scarring, but I did grow to value consistency in a child's life. There's a certain wariness in making friends and connections that I have that I'm sure derives from that.

There's also a loss of memory. Memories have to be triggered every so often or they are lost - a sight, a smell, whatever. A scratch on a wall, the laugh of an uncle, the way a neighbor walks all triggers memory every few years for people so that the memory soup is stirred up and kept fresh. I can't remember floor plans of homes I lived in - or exteriors - or people since I haven't had that memory bump every few years that many people have.

That's why it has been so hard to finally decide to change schools my oldest daughter goes to. I want things consistent and I want her to keep those memories fresh. (I'll get to the political later). But change schools we must.

Next year, both girls will be going to the local public school. There's a few reasons.

First, tuition is taking a jump. We can afford it. However, the jump wasn't brought up to the school board (from which I've just resigned) until November - not alot of time to plan! Anyway, our concern is that it just didn't show much regard for the parents who are borderline. The school serves an urban area with more than it's share of working poor. Some parents of 8 year old are only 24 or 25. They're doing their best, but a few extra grand a year to pay in tuition will really hurt these people. These are the people the Church should be most concerned about. Right?

Second, the parish priest got caught up in an abuse allegation. No opinion on him. Seems like a nice guy, but his removal wasn't announced except in a few masses. Since I'm not Catholic, I heard from a reporter about it. I asked the principle who said she wasn't allowed to talk about it. She was gagged by the attorneys. To me that begs two questions: 1) What else isn't she allowed to tell me about that doesn't end up on the nightly news and 2) in the four days between his departure and my finding out about it, what did my daughter learn about sexual abuse on the playground.

Third, there seems to be deep distrust between the parents and administrators/teachers. It's just so negative. Also, I don't think the kid is being challenged enough.

there's more to the story, but that's all I'm willing to share in a public format where I (mostly the Divine Mrs. M ) am still going to bump into these people everyday.

So I swallowed my own desires and we will make the change for their education. It's just a school. The public school is within walking distance of the former school and our house. It's not like we're moving to a new city. Consistency will be maintained as much as possible. Memories will still be triggered. Childhood intact.

Stay You.
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