Friday, November 9, 2007

What to think?

Our youngest three children attend public schools. Both schools are fairly new, located less than five minutes from our home, and overall, we love them. Happy with the teachers, the test scores, the facilities, etc. Our oldest started high school this year. When it came time to register him, we found that we just weren't pleased with our public high school. It's overcrowded (they are currently building additions to the campus, but, in the meantime, several teachers are having to use small trailers for their classroom), we've heard so many stories of drug problems (I'm not naive, I know this can probably be found at just about any high school, but still...), in the last few years, there have been a few students (girls) to commit suicide (were said to be related to bullying and threats and mySpace), we've heard stories of girls making out with each other in the halls (nothing against homosexuals, but, I don't want my 14 yr. old son seeing it in the hallways of his school), and the academics just didn't seem up to par. DS is smart; he's not one of the top students but he's not at the bottom of his class either. He is a bit of an underachiever, he's not going to go the extra mile if he doesn't have to when it comes to schoolwork. We were afraid in that school environment, he would just get passed along, never really being challenged or motivated to do more. I think he hangs with a good group of kids, so, he probably would be okay. But, it just wasn't feeling right to us. So, we started looking into private schools. We're not catholic and paying for a private school was something we never planned for, never expected to do. But, we knew of a small catholic high school that had an excellent reputation. It's not in our town, it's about a 35 minute drive from our house. But, in past years, quite a few students from our town have enrolled there. They provide free bus transportation, which is great. The school is small, only around 300 students (compared to our public high school which is up to almost 1200). The private school has a long history of academic and moral excellence. We visited the school several times, each visit left us feeling like this was the place we wanted DS to be. We were especially impressed with the principal, he seemed to be a visionary leader with so much enthusiasm. Of course, our son was a little less than thrilled. He didn't want to leave his friends, friends that he has went to school with since kindergarten. But, after much discussion and coaxing, he agreed to attend the private school. Our next door neighbor's daughter, and a few other classmates also decided to attend the private school. So, he did have familiar faces with him. He joined the football team (his first time ever playing football) and made many new friends. His schedule has been grueling and the school work has been challenging. But, all along we've felt like we made the right decision.

If you're still reading this long post, thanks for hanging in...you won't believe where this story is going....

Even though we've been pleased with our decision, our son has not. He continuously tells us he doesn't like the school, he's tired of the long commute, etc. When report cards came out last month, DS's grades were not good. Failing grade in one class, D's in two others. We were so disappointed and felt like our son wasn't putting forth the effort he should. We grounded him and have tried to stay on top of his assignments/homework, etc. He's doing better this grading period, but, still states he doesn't want to be at this school next year. So, this is what we've been dealing with for the school year. We keep trying to explain to DS how important it is for him to do well in school, that we think this school has a much superior environment than he would have at the public school, etc. Then, last week, a horrible turn of events happened. We were shocked and didin't know what to think....the principal of his school was pulled over by police in a shady area of a nearby town, found to be dressed in drag and cited for loitering with the intent of prostitution. OH. My. GOODNESS. This man is a very distinguished, highly respected professional with an impeccable reputation. What were we to think? The story was all over the news. They even showed the police dashcam video from when he was cited. Upon searching his car, the police found a g-string, crotchless panties, cowboy spurs....he offered a story about going to a costume party (it was the night before Halloween) but it seems his story wasn't solid. He is now suspended, on leave from his position. This just makes me so angry, here we are singing the praises of this school to our son, making sacrifices to pay for said school, and then we find out that the leader of this school is not what we thought. I don't want my son to go through his entire high school career being unhappy. But, we do want the best possible educational experience for him. We are really torn and just don't know what to think. We feel good about the other school administrators. I realize that they, nor the school, can be held responsible for the actions of the principal. It's just a very strange and confusing situation. Above all, we just want the best for our son. Thanks for listening, I know I rambled on today.

~K

4 comments:

Jacki said...

Oh my gosh! Unbelieveable!!

On another note, your Walmart gift card has been mailed. :-) Enjoy....

elaine@bloginmyeye said...

My kiddos are still young, but I'm convinced that there's no way to get young'uns through this crazy world today except by praying A ... LOT! Sounds like it might be time to reconsider your decision; not necessarily change your mind, but just consider it very carefully once again. Either way you go, it might be nice for you to get hooked up with a Moms in Touch group for your son's school so that you can lift all these crazy concerns up in powerful corporate prayer. I'm just sayin'...I love this group a lot. I don't think you would regret giving an hour of your time to this purpose each week. Search for a group in your area here:
http://roster.momsintouch.org/GroupLocator/
I'm sorry you're having to deal with this. It sounds really tough.

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Wow, that is some story! I have a daughter graduating high school this year and a son in 10th grade. My only advice is to have your son be very involved in one or two extra curriculas. Something that will keep him very, very busy. We like the performing arts...Tech crew has worked for us. the kids are a tight knit group. You can't second guess yourselves...how could you possibly have known. One more of lifes crazy lessons. Susan

Belle-ah said...

I so sorry y'all are dealing with this. I would be sooooo stressed out. Our children attend Christian School and I understand how devastating something like this feels to the whole school family/community. I will say a prayer that you find peace in what ever decision your family makes.