Yesterday we went to Washburn to register Zack for classes. Students are only allowed to miss 9 days a year of school, otherwise, I’ve been told, they will be held back. We home schooled him until now because we wanted to go to Australia, but a cross country drive taught us that we’re not ready for that, at least not right now.
Washburn is not the school I want my son attending, but it is our “home school.” (Also called “neighborhood school.”) As I walked through the halls with my husband and son, I didn’t see one other white person, the mingling students during pass time were Hispanic, Somalian, African-American, really every colour except white. That isn’t representative of this neighborhood!
I think the cheapest livable house within walking distance is $300,000, and the way Washburn throws free/reduced lunch forms at you and accosts you with services, they aren’t marketing that to the people in this neighborhood, where most people are college educated. The neighborhood immediately surrounding Washburn has $1.5-3M homes and I personally know five physicians who live in Tangletown.
So, we get there, and we schlep to the office. My hair is all sticking up and sticking out because I rolled outta bed ten minutes before our trek to the high school. Of course, it wouldn’t be a day in my life without someone looking at me all pie-faced, and yesterday was no exception. The office staffer stared at me and the fam as if we were mutants. We’re directed elsewhere and are escorted in to a room along with four people. Four people to register my kid, I’m thinking, but apparently this is because they think we are complete home school freaks.
The air is tense. The nurse is sitting to my right. The Dean of Students is sitting on the other side of Jon, who is next to me, on the left. The counselor is next to the nurse, directly across from Zack, and the woman at the head of the table is so unmemorable, I don’t remember her purpose. Perhaps to call a meeting of equally bewildered coworkers sucking off the public school teat, which amounts to about $19,000 per STUDENT in Minneapolis.
The question arises about our happiness with our home school and I mention that No, I’m not happy at all. I’d like my son at Southwest where his siblings attended school, but since this is our home school he has to attend this school. One of them asked, Why can’t your son attend Southwest? (Not like I didn’t all ready say why he was attending Washburn. Pay attention much? Please see original statement about bewildered coworkers.) It’s because his siblings are so much older than him that he is being penalized because my daughter graduated from high school in 2012 and her brother wasn’t ready to attend high school until 2014, he is unable to go there. The nurse, all blustery, asks, Why, is there a policy or something? (Goodness, you work for the district, shouldn’t you know the policy?) Yes, I say, there is a policy, you can only use sibling preference when the sibling is in attendance at that school.
I don’t have a problem with integration, I have a problem when the school district wants to lie about what a neighborhood school is and then bus in a whole bunch of kids that don’t have to follow the neighborhood school rule because their income allows them to go to school in a different neighborhood. The air is finally swirly in the room, no longer close, like someone took a big breath and let it all out, right in to the room. The nurse proceeds to tell me about their policy of not allowing medications in school, and tries to ask about Zack’s medical conditions and I say, We were at Holy Angels last year and before that Annunciation, plus this isn’t my first rodeo, I know I can’t have medications in school for my child, I’ve never home schooled… Oh well, the nurse interrupted, some people don’t understand that you can’t leave medications at school for their child and looked at me all dim-witted and blinking.
The Dean was nice enough but brought nothing to the table and finally left, after trying to make a push for Zack to run track. Definitely an A for effort kind of gal. Shortly afterwards, the nurse then fumbled with her chair and excused herself, perhaps finally realizing that she had no purpose there. The counselor and Zack and I started figuring out his schedule and he moved to sit next to the counselor.
In a flurry of anger and venom, the Safety Director rammed in to the room, sitting down next to Zack at the ned of the table. “We’re going to have a problem with Zack, and I don’t know if I even want him in my school.” I knew I was here for this, this little scene is why Jon needed me to be there. Oh do tell was the look on my face, and I asked the lion, Why? With a growl she yelled that she had heard that poor Matthias Pena, who committed suicide over the week-end, (See here for details: http://www.startribune.com/obituaries/detail/103079/?fullname=matthias-jacob-pena), was harassed by Zack on Monday, on his website. She had it on good authority that Zack had done this deed. From an administrator, not a student, she bombasted. Please! The administrator got it from whom? A student.
I broke in to song about Emme and Mia calling Zack a rapist since the beginning of the year. Ten months I’ve had to read nastiness from two gossiping teenage girls who have such claws I can only think the mums are the worst sort of mothers: ones that teach their daughters to be bitchy, gossipy, nasty little lying cunts. Six words, and on their own, the girl will turn out to be an okay woman, but all six together, there’s no chance for her, unless she can unlearn all the lessons she’s all ready learned from the women around her. Emme’s mum told Jon that she wanted Zack to go to jail because he broke her heart. Um. Wow. That’s someone that will lie about any thing to get her way. Daddy issues?
Me, I know about daddy issues, because I had them.
Pomposity nodded her head, exhausted. We talked after that, about Matthias and safety at school. She said she had cameras every where. Is that legal? Or is she lying because she wants you to be paranoid? I consider it just being on your best behaviour, but my kid went to Catholic school, he is usually behaving. We schlepped back to the office to be prodded with free/reduced lunch application forms, sent home with paperwork, including a plea letter for $25 to help them pay for copier paper and lend privileges for the calculators in the library. They honestly need a better accountant.
I respect the hell out of teachers, but they get vilified a lot; especially because of the Scott Walker teacher pension de-fund, and I think teachers are just like police, needed and not paid very well, so they need a pension.