Those were the words of fellow parent Bill Luthy as members of our District 150 Watch Coalition addressed the Board of Education and D150 Administration Monday night. Our goal - a complete recission of the disastrous vote of two weeks ago that took 45 minutes of instructional time per day and half the specialty teachers away from our children. Last night we formally requested that they put an action item on the June 2nd agenda for a vote to RESCIND that decision.
CJ Summers did a recap of the meeting on his blog complete with sound bytes. As I posted last week, tomorrow 4 parents representing North, South, East and West Peoria will sit down with Mr. Hinton and present to him well thought out and workable financial and educational alternatives to cutting the school day. We pray that he is serious about working with us, but I'd be lying if I said we did not have our concerns.
Ordinarily, after a controversial vote, eventually the public furor dies down and a miffed contingent slowly recedes back into the shadows. This time I assure you that will not happen. The risks of failure are too great.
The events of the last few weeks have been a learning experience for me, as well as a crash course in public education. Never again will I casually cast aside a bio of a candidate running for school board. Stupid, stupid me! In the past, I watched the Districts antics with a vague sense of amusement, falsely believing that whatever went down, it would have minimal impact on our family. Although I saw room for improvement in various areas throughout our D150 primary school, I felt our children were surrounded by loving, caring and competant faculty and staff. Little did I realize that as the honchos of D150 moved their pieces about the chess board, any financial deficit that resulted from such moves would be shouldered squarely on the backs of our children. Clearly, this has moved far beyond "amusing".
Over the past few days, I have spoken with hundreds of people - families from all walks of life, educators, media & community leaders. There has not been ONE shred of support for this decision. Pretty much everyone is scratching their heads - and its not because of the shampoo they use. I have been overwhelmed with pride as fellow parents as well as teachers have overcome personal inhibitions & fears to step in to the limelight on behalf of the children.
I find it very disturbing, however, that some are afraid to speak out publicly. Aren't these our children, and our schools? Why would we NOT have a say in the matter? I would jump in front of an oncoming car for the sake of my children so there's really not much the district could do to silence me. It kind of reminds me of the story "The emperor's new clothes".
I continue to invite all concerned parents and members to get involved. Call me at 309-645-8608 for ideas on how specifically you can help. Please be mindful, however, that although we appreciate your support, it is the members of the Board of Education who need to know how you feel!
Give it to them straight. Let them know that you see the emperor, and he is buck naked!