"Choosy moms choose..."
If choosy moms choose peanut butter, like in the old 90's commercials, then isn't it to be expected they're capable of doing the same when it comes to picking a school, as well as the right education? Yet, over and over again, we see the public shaming. Some hint those who go against the norm are traitors and should be corrected. We must be taught to remain loyal to the government school system, stay trapped and gear up in the fight to fix the problems.
I literally cannot count the amount of times I’ve heard people say,
“Don't send your kids to public schools.”
Let this thought sink in for a second and consider if this is something you’ve heard before and keep in mind these comments come from people who were products of government schools, but they see apparent changes in the system even as outsiders.
This is a common expression, now, in every which way I turn. It comes up every time someone asks my daughter where she attends school and she answers,
“Good for you,” they say (I agree… It is good for her).
Being a product of public school-with a short stint in private school for four years- I have never heard such things, until my daughter provided that answer to the question.
My childhood was very different from hers; in my youth, my parents worried about sending me to a school in which they heard was infested with drugs. We moved a lot. We were poor and in debt. We walked to the government elementary school. One day, we heard kids on the way to school talking about a local woman who had been butchered to death with a cleaver in her own home, across the street from the nearby playground. Her street was unavoidable on our walk to school.
By fifth grade, I was somehow enrolled in a private, religious school. “How odd,” I thought, “we don’t even attend church regularly, but now we are suddenly religious?” I later wondered how this opportunity could’ve happened. If we were receiving government assistance, how could we afford a private school? It felt as though suddenly, we were donned in uniforms, given access to buses and nuns were our new teachers, mostly … and luckily, we used a different local park for physical education, but only on occasion. Still… we were living on food stamps: printed paper which sort of looked like money, but immensely different. We would go to free meal events, visit churches and organizations who were giving away groceries … and even toys during the holidays. We would save soda cans and bottles because we would earn a refund of five cents if we turned them in for recycling. The years flew by and before we knew it, we were aged out of the school after completing eighth grade.
We toured the beautiful feeder school with our class, which my parents said was out of the question based on tuition. We had to deal with being funneled into the government-run district school...the one they’d worried about all along.
That summer, my parents visited North Carolina. They said they were taking a “vacation.” Shortly after their return, they announced we were moving. This was a total shock, but off we went.
I hated school and we sounded like out-of-place northerners, which we were indeed. I did horribly and had never filled in so many bubble tests in my life.
NC Tornado drills were very strange to me and my teachers were all fine and dandy. I could even report seeing snow fall -and the sheer mayhem and excitement which occurs in our state- while in my scheduled Geometry class. I neither understood my assigned crash course in World Civilization, nor why I was denied access to Art class due to high demand. Why couldn’t there be another Art class to accommodate demands?
I remember disrupting my 10th grade AP English teacher -Mrs Peeler- but apologizing after running into her one evening at a restaurant in which I was employed. I warmed the bench on a JV basketball team, which managed to lose every game.
By tenth grade,I began smoking cigarettes and skipping school. I took off, and then came back to another district school by eleventh grade.
I remember feeling poor
but mixed up with what felt like was much wealthier kids, sporting brand name clothes, backpacks and even friends who were willing to pay a fee to park at school and spend money on fast food daily. I yearned for my former high school and no idea how out of place I'd feel, prior to this transfer taking place.
I liked electives and English classes, while hating math. I never made the honor roll again. I didn’t understand school, bullies, bubble tests and not being allowed to throw my cap after escaping it all.
The ability to have a choice for my daughter-and other children like her- is critical. While public schools are an ideal option for some, we cannot say it’s best for all kids -can we? My husband went to public schools and did not face the same issues. Sadly, the ability for parents to choose goes against the control that some in our school systems want to force on us. While many in our public school system claim “Every child is different” they want to ensure that they have full control to force the exact same school on all children.
This way of thinking needs to change.
If you're charged with picking the peanut butter, whether mom, dad, or grandparents, then you should consider taking charge of picking out the best education as well.