My family and I feel that it’s important to let you and others know, how we feel about the job your school is doing with the children in your care and how it affects our community.
Our son came to us twice in this past school year because of bullying he received while under the care of your school. We presented this information to you both times. Since the end of the school year we found out (from our son, not your school) that the bullying had been happening regularly throughout the year.
Our sixth grade son told us hesitantly about the bullying: occassional punches and name-calling such as “gay,” “fag,” “emo,” “goth,” and “cutter.” The hateful act of throwing around slurs (to which they do not even know the definitions) and using them to berate and negatively judge someone–without any concern or action by a wiser authority figure–is abhorrent, both for the children’s ignorant hurtfulness, and the adult’s tacit approval through their inaction. For any child to feel that they are less than an equal to another simply because the parents of our town are raising bigots, is the direct opposite of growth, evolution, and tolerance.
The behaviors these minors are exhibiting can lead to serious results in those they bully:
- Suicidal thoughts and feelings…
…And those are just the short term consequences. Must we doggedly and sadistically search for signs of depression, self-mutilation, drug dependence and suicide before we react?
I’ve personally wrestled with feeling that I’ve overreacted, given the underwhelming reactions by you and your administrative team. Though you promised to take things seriously, investigate the situation, and hold accountable those in violation of the Code of Conduct, the school year closed without any reconciliation or further communication from you.
I want to believe in the educational system. I want to believe that all your teachers and administrative teams want the very best for each child and work every moment of every day to ensure that in addition to the core curriculum, they also teach all children to foster a love of lifelong learning, and to learn to socialize beyond age and gender boundaries. I want to believe that they encourage individuality and creativity, honesty and integrity. I want to believe that they help the children explore how to be inventive and resourceful, teach them mental and physical health, and require tolerance and respect.
Unfortunately, it has become clear that we cannot count on the public school system, and your school in particular, to care, teach, and strengthen our community through its young people, particularly and notably in the area of tolerance. We have found your school neither a positive nor a respectful environment.
We will not allow any of our children to be treated in ways that prevent them from learning, changing, and becoming individuals. The inability of traditional school to aid in reversing the bigotry, prejudice, and hate is disheartening and vividly concerning to me and my family. Continuing to send my son, or any of my children, to your school would be a gross and costly mistake as a parent, if not outright negligence.Therefore, we have decided to do something about our son’s situation.
I began to research the educational system, and what it means to be a teacher in today’s America, and the pros and cons of the possible alternatives to public schooling and its inherent problems. It is my great hope that sooner rather than later, this school–and so many others–will realize the importance of the children over the ego of the adults. It is my great hope that your school will see their errors and work quickly to find a resolution.
My family has found a solution. It will not be in your school.
Weighing all options and becoming much more versed in homeschooling, we made the final decision to begin utilizing the world outside of a traditional classroom to educate my son.
The world is too full of wonder, curious ideas, and possibilities to be confined into a school building all day anyway.