Friday, September 16, 2011
Back to School Night
Last night was BTS Night for A's school. I've really been looking forward to this because last year we only had an open house with a boring assembly. The teachers were on a work-to-contract action last year. This year they are again but it's been modified so as not to affect the events where parents or students are present. (Thanks, teachers!)
As Theresa said, there were some groups of teachers picketing out front due to the three-year-never-ending contract dispute. There were police and security by the front doors. But overall, it was quiet and peaceful and people were happy to be there. My Dad stood that picket line back in the early 80s as a contract negotiator for the NFT (teacher's union). Whatever goes on now, however ugly this 'negotiation' has been, I know that my father was a man to be proud of when he went through it. He is a godly man of integrity. And I know how it felt during his strike, and how people treated us because of it. Months of no paycheck combined with people egging our house or calling at all hours to say rude things might have broken the resolve of a lesser man. My father was firm, and was willing to go to jail. In fact, when we got the call that the board had accepted the contract and a deal had been made, my father was getting dressed in a suit to go to court; a court where the judge had stated he would be sending them to jail if they did not go back to work.
Maybe times are different; maybe it's really the same fight all over again, I don't know. I don't really care. What I know is that I will not be a character assassin and tear down the teachers who educate my children. I know what it cost my father to stand up for he believed in.
So, moving on! It was lovely meeting all of A's teachers, and Tom was able to go with me, a rare treat. We had a few very surreal moments, like when a girl he had homeroom with came bustling in late, and he said it was just like old times. How funny that they spent years sitting next to each other and now their kids do the same, in the very same school. It was odd for me too, sitting in those same classrooms where I learned 23ish years ago. And A's gym teacher is the father of a boy who used to make fun of me in the lunchroom. He seems nicer than his son, thankfully. I was pleased to learn that they now teach them CPR and first aid, and that A will be CPR certified by the end of the school year. I liked what I heard in all of their presentations, about the importance of homework (compared to practicing a sport), and of building a community to teach the kids to respect each other. Kids are still going to be kids, but I like that the district is making an effort to reduce bullying.
Praying for a great school year for my kids and for a resolution between the teachers & the board. Thanks in advance, God!