Tuesday, March 21, 2006

staples and tolerance

Last night I went to a meeting at my son's school. For those who don't know, my son goes to a special education private school for bright kids with severe to moderate learning disabilities. The meeting was with the founder of the school and two members of the board of directors.

Now, I am happy with the school. All the parents I sat with, whose kids are in the same class as my son, are happy with the school. But the meeting was to discuss how upset and unhappy parents are with the school.

A list of "issues" were presented, some major and some down-right petty. They ranged from no learning plans for some of the upper-school kids (very serious) to the fact that the handbook was not stapled. MY GOD!!! burn the principal in effigy, the handbook wasn't STAPLED. I couldn't believe my ears.

We have kids that could not be educated. Bright kids that couldn't read at age twelve. Geniuses that can't add or subtract. We have children that we were told to write off. That perhaps they might, with significant help, get through high school. Maybe. At this school, they are told to plan for college, because they are going. They LEARN. My son can do geometry, multiply fractions, when he could not learn to add two digit numbers before. He's read Dante's Inferno, and understood it. He knows who Grendel is. This is astounding!

So I really can't get worked up about staples. The folks at his school are lousy administrators. I wouldn't trust them to efficiently run a lemonade stand. And I DON'T CARE, because they are good at the one thing that truly matters, and that is educating kids that can't learn anywhere else.

So why is it some people can't see the forest for the trees? People stood up last night to say that the school had saved them and their families. One mother said they had sold their house, quit their jobs, moved their other children from schools they loved, because they so needed this school for their son. They understand what matters.

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