Just when I think the staff and faculty at my daughter’s school can’t do anything else to aggravate me, they manage to exceed the last incident.
The thing is, I’m not THERE for these incidents. And since I can’t actually prove them, I’m left with the testimony of my child and her peers as my only evidence.
This, often, is not enough to warrant a strongly worded email or even, in extreme cases, a trip to the school to speak with administration. Kids will be kids. Idiots will be idiots. Some things are just petty, minor, and not worth the wasted breath.
I have to pick and choose my battles, lest I develop a reputation as “that mom”. And everyone knows “that mom” just has a chip on her shoulder and mustn’t be taken seriously.
She’s a notorious snowflake, after all. Her kid couldn’t cut it in basketball, and has a reputation herself for giving zero effs about what people think about her. What a strange concept?
Still, the news from the front is often disturbing at best and infuriating at worst. Like yesterday, for example.
Word has it that a particular teacher, one somehow deemed fit to teach a group of children religious studies, told a class of 7th graders that people with mental illnesses were actually just possessed by demons.
Imma just take a minute and let that sink in.
And I’m going to stop you right now before you start telling me how to fix this problem.
Because there is no “fixing” it.
My child will have to attend this school until at least the 10th grade, at which point, I hope she’s got an in somewhere else. But this school IS my option right now. It’s it. I have my reasons, and they’re not really anyone else’s business. I just want to clarify that yanking my kid outta this place is not a possibility at this moment. Much to my chagrin.
But that doesn’t mean I’m going to be silent. I’m an equal opportunity bitcher. I would do the same thing if she was in another school that did things to piss me off. And they probably would, because no school is perfect and I don’t expect it to be. But I DO expect it to be LOGICAL.
I’ve made my feelings clear about many things over the course of the last few years that I found to be in direct conflict with a LOGICAL way of thinking.
I’ve been shushed in stockholders meetings for asking legitimate questions, dismissed by administration when presenting concerns about members of the faculty on previous occasions, and at this point, it’s just about survival. Because there are days when both my daughter and myself find ourselves in disbelief that some of these people have not imploded from sheer ignorance.
I can’t say enough about the elementary education my daughter received in this school. It was, for the most part, truly outstanding. She excelled. Got a firm footing in academia. She won bookoodles of awards when she finished 6th grade.
She has continued to excel in junior high. High honors. Member of the Honor Society. In short, she ain’t an idiot. And I have this school to thank in many, many ways for the educational foundation it has given my daughter.
But, make no mistake, I paid for it. With hard earned money, I paid for it. And that’s why I’m writing about it.
If (and they’ve made it pretty clear that they won’t) the leaders at her school won’t listen to my concerns and actually do something about them, I’ll take my complaints to this blog. It is one place that I won’t be shushed. I won’t be ignored. And if you’re going to judge me, you’re going to at least do it based on something you can see for yourself, and not something you heard from someone else, second-hand.
I know, better than anyone, that things can get twisted. Rumors can spread. Biases can color the relay of information I receive at times. And I take all of that into consideration when I am made aware of something that was said or done in a place that I wasn’t present to witness it.
I just know that my kid isn’t a liar.
I know that her instincts are good.
I know that her heart, though heavily armored, is tender.
I know that she is a critical thinker, ironically, because of the education she received at the very place that is driving us both insane (or riling up our demons) at times.
I could address the actual statement made by this “professional educator”, but I’m not. Because it really isn’t even worth it. My readers ought to know by now just how strongly I feel about mental health awareness. I’ve written extensively about my own struggles with anxiety and depression, as well as the stigma that still surrounds those struggles in general.
So no, it honestly didn’t surprise me that this teacher offered up this ridiculous explanation to a room full of impressionable kids.
And, like I would if my child was in school anywhere else, I have to suck it up and deal with the ignorance, because my complaints won’t do a damn thing to change his mind, change his teaching, or help the hundreds of kids he’ll continue to influence.
All I can do is continue to raise my child in such a way that she continues recognize ignorance when she sees it.
One of her classmates confronted this teacher about what he said. I don’t know what happened, but I am proud of her. Knowing who she is, I doubt that she was taken seriously. And it probably dampened her already cynical spirit. But I’m glad she had the courage to speak up. My own child spoke up several times in this teacher’s class last year. He glossed over her every time.
But she spoke. She didn’t just let it go. And that, the students speaking up, will be how change, if it ever comes, will happen.
I just hope I can control my inner demons in the meantime.