Today is a sad day for my family and for the community that we now call home. At a 6:00 meeting tonight, our school board is going to discuss closing our high school right now instead of waiting until next school year, as promised. As a new parent in this town, I am devastated.
We moved here for this tiny little mountain school in Rochester, Vermont. My husband and I bought a house here. We decided that this was the place that we wanted to finish raising our children and this was the school where we wanted to do it. But, they’ve stolen that from us.
We came here with the hopes and dreams of offering our children a real, community. A place where people smile at one another on the streets and wave hello to the elderly. And we found that here. But, they’ve stolen that from us.
We left a school that has police on staff, regular drug overdoses, daily fights and an institutionalized setting to offer them a home away from home instead. A school where the teachers know them by name, where the students all rally for each other instead of against each other. A place where they feel comfortable and safe…where they can be themselves. And we found that here. But, they’ve stolen that from us.
Instead they are offering us exactly what we ran away from. A giant, monstrosity of a school providing not more education, but more bullying, more drug use and more rules and promises that are simply ridiculous in the real world.
Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. – Albert Einstein
We were given a vote to merge our school with a couple of neighboring schools to create this monstrosity. We voted NO.
Instead of letting us – the people of the this town – the tax payers of this town – make the decision about what is right for us, for our school, for our children – they’ve decided to force us into the situation by closing our school and offering us school choice.
School choice might work great in a city or a suburban area, but we’re talking a rural area here. We live in a deep valley and no matter what choice we make, our children have to be transported for 30 to 60 minutes each way over treacherous roads in the winter. Any and all of the other school districts are at least 20 miles away and over at least 1 mountain. This takes all of our high school children out of this town. Out of this valley. And it throws them into a world outside anything many of them have ever known.
This will kill our little town.
People will not move in. Our children will not come back to raise their own families. Our economy cannot survive this and the town will fail.
What right does the state government have to make these decisions for us?
What right do they have to make choices for our children based on some ill-conceived notion that bigger is better?
We were supposed to have a year left. Our children were promised a final year and they made big plans to make their final year something spectacular. But, they’ve stolen that from them.
Like in all so called democratic societies, someone has to lose. Unfortunately, our children are the ones losing this battle. And as with all sad endings, there is a lesson to be learned for these children and for all children around the world.
A Lesson in Democracy…
Don’t Let Them Win
Fight. Fight. Fight to the finish. YOU have a voice. WE ALL have a voice.
The first amendment of the United States Constitution promises the right to free speech for each and every one of us. The men and women of our military fight for you to keep that right every single day.
Speak up – fight for what you believe in and don’t let them win – no matter what the outcome of the vote.
That is what I and many other parents of this community will be teaching our children tonight. One last lesson in democracy…
We will be attending this meeting, children in tow, fighting for what we think is right for us. To hell with the state government, to hell with the school board and the supervisory union and…
To the parents and community members that think this is a good idea:
You’ll be sorry.
You’ll see your taxes increase anyway.
You’ll see your children become more stressed and anxious that you can imagine.
You’ll see that the mega school system will fail you and your children.
You’ll see that this was the wrong idea…that you should have fought harder for your children and for your community instead of giving into bureaucratic nonsense.
What right do you think you have to make these decisions for our children?
When this is all said and done, there is one last lesson that I will teach my children…
Your education is your own.
Learn everything and anything that you want to learn.
Study the things you love.
Make yourself brilliant…don’t depend on any teacher or school system to do it for you.
You’re smart, beautiful and capable of anything you set your mind to, no matter what the world says.
And most of all, don’t let them win. Always fight for what you believe in.
Study up on your history, my friends. Pick up a book, read something besides the news feed on Facebook.
Teach yourself and your children that learning begins in your own mind and no amount of “formal” education is going to teach what one does not want to learn.
The most famous people in our history never learned a thing inside a “traditional” classroom, but they taught themselves everything.
With that being said, thank you for listening to my ranting and I leave you with this simple quote from Mark Twain.
For those of you that believe education only happens within the four walls of a strictly guided classroom…
Don’t let schooling interfere with your education. – Mark Twain
Have a Spectacular Day!