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Lockwood 10-14-2012 11:56 AM

Parenting, schools, and explosions
 
Some of you may have seen on one of the political debates that there was an explosion at my son’s school Friday. :shock:
Let me back up…

A lot of state and local cutbacks have been coming down the line (not going political here… promise) and unfortunately we live in a “sports driven” mindset area. This in turn has meant that what is really important throughout the district has been really compromised in lieu of pleasing the athletic and aesthetic crowd. :-x

All the buildings in the district are in need of repair and there have been major heating issues within the buildings for years. It is really hard for consistent learning when the kids are either too cold and need to wear jackets in class one day and the next are baking and have to open windows…in the middle of winter!
However, the athletics or other programs/issues are the ones that get updated/renewed/rebeautified and budget money is spent on items that should be very secondary.

Anyway, so there was a gas explosion Friday in the boiler room.
No one was directly injured, but gas and fumes were spewed through the entire school and the kids not only had a “for real” fire drill, many were treated with oxygen and scared out of their minds!
Because it was a volatile gas situation all 600 kids were evacuated to other schools in other towns. Like many, my son was really shaken up and very stressed over what happened. And because of his health issues he was also a little sick.
Parents like me (momma bears) or those not from this area were p*ssed! :evil:
Many of the parent who have always lived here were resigned… as in “There have always been heat issues at the school, and there always will be. Oh well…. Nothing can be done so no sense even thinking about it.”
I find that mindset to be kind of prevalent in all things here, especially school related things and I don’t understand it! (I’m not from this area.)

Within our district I have been able to get some big things accomplished in the area of special needs kiddos. While I had to fight really hard, I was able shred some serious slacker administrative backsides to get those things accomplished. :twisted:
But when it comes to bigger issues for all the kids I don’t even know where to begin. I’m also not sure I have the energy, as it takes everything I have already to make sure the school stays on the straight and narrow with what we are already dealing with and I‘m pretty sure I won‘t get a whole lot of support from other parents or the school board.

So I guess I am venting here, but also seeing if anyone else has any experience, suggestions, or otherwise sympathy for dealing with such a knot head of a school district? :-(
(Thanks for reading!)

tinyliny 10-14-2012 02:51 PM

That sounds very disturbing. They are just lucky no one was killed, then they would have their backsides 'shredded" in court.

I know what you mean regarding the expenditure of money being utitlitzed more heavily in the athletic dept. we have that here, but we also have a growing trend to spen more on the Tech/science area, at eh expepense of the arts and culture area. the hight school that my son goes to used to be a school with an emphasis on the arts. they had a great drama dept. and a glass blwoing studio. now there is not funding for the studio and the drama dept is very small. the band must scroung for enough money to get uniforms and instruments. on and on.
I may sound a bit whiney here, becuase I'd rather have them focus on the tech side than the athletic, but best woudl be to bring some balance overall.

have you considered homeshooling?

AlexS 10-14-2012 06:19 PM

It's going to take the energy that you don't have to fix the situation.

Contact the PA dept of education. Find out what the requirements are for heating in the buildings. In the code it doesn't say a specific temp, but there are probably guidelines.

022 Pa. Code §*51.17.*Heating.

Petition other parents, go to the school board meetings and just make yourself loud until the issues are addressed.

FlyGap 10-17-2012 02:42 PM

Loockwood, I feel your pain. Not that my kid would have to go through an explosion to shake things up but wow, I would be FREAKING OUT psycho mamma bear!

Alex is right. I would also research how much money is going to other areas like the PD, the FD, etc and compare.
Our schools are terrible, you know I have to send my kid to private because it's so bad for the same reasons. A few years ago they spent MILLIONS on the football stadium, the lockers, the soccer fields, and the baseball facilities... The kids don't even have enough BOOKS!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!!! The libraries are almost non existent and they walk the kids to the public one that is about 1,000 sq ft of ancient donated books. Then add up all the social issues and it's just a mess. There is no helping these people, the PD just spent over $500,000 on new pimped out SUV's, and are planning on purchasing a $100,000 drug dog.... Population 13,000 for the ENTIRE COUNTY. There is where I have a major problem!

Keep fighting. I couldn't even begin to start on our locals because they are so backwoods. Go Hillbillies! Whatever.

Lockwood 10-17-2012 09:48 PM

Balance. Seems like that is a foreign concept in certain sectors anymore these days.
Thanks Alex for the code reference. I’m kind of embarrassed that I didn’t think of that and it is a good starting point. Although I fear you are right…. I just don’t know if I have the energy.

Tiny I have thought of home schooling. To great depth actually from the time he started pre-school and I revisit it every year. Like one of your sons, mine is atypical. He is on an IEP, but he is also gifted and it is a tricky situation to navigate.
While academics come easily to him, the list of pros and cons concerning traditional schools vs. home schooling is extensive and I have agonized over it.

Shortly before a new administrative group and new superintendent came in a few years ago I was ready to file due process and a lawsuit. It was ugly and the district knew I would win not only for my son, but also for kids like him. Big changes came down the pipeline along with a temporary band-aid.
The new folks ran with the changes and for the most part, at least in this one area, the school did a 180. He is doing very well now in his district, as are kids like him, and I fear home schooling would hold him back in so many ways.
If he hadn't gotten what he needed to thrive, I would have yanked him.

Fly- LOL… I am a total mamma bear, but thankfully I have been trained to remain calm under mind blowing circumstances. Otherwise the news story would have been very… uhhh…..ummm…..colorful and different. (And my butt would be in jail! :wink:)
Libraries here? Pfft… one would never know we are so close to a major city because it is a world of difference out here for us country bumpkins.
Private school? Oh how I wish I could! There is only one and is far more expensive than I could ever afford. Not to mention it is religious based. While there is nothing wrong with that, they are not prepared to teach or meet the needs of anything beyond a typical student, nor are they required to.

Thanks you guys for the suggestions. Despite my doom and gloom I‘ve been thinking about them and will keep trying to look at this from all angles. Maybe a crack in the wall or a road to a solution will appear. Either that or I will drive myself bonkers!
(Don’t say it… I already know I‘m well on my way there now! :-o )

AlexS 10-18-2012 12:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lockwood (Post 1722869)
Thanks Alex for the code reference. I’m kind of embarrassed that I didn’t think of that and it is a good starting point. Although I fear you are right…. I just don’t know if I have the energy.

No problem. I've had quite a few 'disagreements' with my school district with the foster kids, and I found that it makes it so much easier to start with the law. You don't really give them too much of an argument if they are not holding up their side of the law.

AlexS 10-18-2012 09:36 PM

Lockwood, I just looked this up for something else and thought of you.

The educational law center is PA based, their services are free and they give out advise over the phone based on school requirements. It's totally free for you to use, I believe.

Education Law Center

BigStallion 11-03-2012 08:20 PM

im glad no one was too badly injured!


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