Bend In The Branch

The personal opinions of one among many.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Choice IS an Option, After All

My day at work began with a phone call from the Principal of Manning Elementary School.

When we spoke yesterday, he was adamant that both his and the Superintendent's interpretation of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 were correct; that choice of schools was not an option for students of Manning Elementary School and Clarendon School District spite of my reminder that, being the legal field, I was very familiar with "interpretation of the law".

Today, however, he confessed misinterpretation of the law, voiced regret over the release of the letter, and assured me that corrective measures were being taken.

I admit being knocked down by our first conversation. I had spent hours researching the law, and though I was certain of the facts, I was initially defeated by the response to my inquiries. It was, after all, not my fight.

I was tempted to leave the fight for those with a cause, but then I was reminded, if I tell that kid of mine to stand up for what she believes in; to never stop trying, then I would be a poor example should I not do the same. So, I promptly picked myself up, brushed my bottom off, posted to this site, proceeded with even more research, and drafted a letter to the South Carolina Department of Education (which, by the way, has not been mailed yet, due to the phone call).

I'm glad I didn't quit. Maybe, just maybe, I've made a difference to a parent and a child who will benefit from my efforts.

I'll keep an eye on things, just in case!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can I just tell you, once again, what an amazing mother you are? Catelyn is growing up and learning from the best example of how to stand by what you know to be right.

I absolutely believe that there are other parents and children who will benefit from your actions, and maybe they'll never know that they have you to thank, but their child's educational foundation will be enriched because you held firm.

Good job!!

Missy Dietsch

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You go, girl! I went through something similar last year with my daughter's 5th grade. Her school gave an excessive amount of homework and after 7 hours in school, she'd be working until 9-10 pm on homework. It made her physically sick and couldn't eat breakfast or dinner because she was so nervous all the time about the work load. I met with all 3 teachers and they blew me off, saying 1/2 the school (it's a defense school) had a parent in Iraq or Afghanistan so I shouldn't expect special treatment, and that no one else complained about the homework load. I told them to expect my daughter to not be handing in completed homework because it was simply excessive, and I would be encouraging her to not complete it. They were appalled. I found that many of her friends were also getting sick, suffering from behavior and emotional problems as a result of the work load. I met with the principle, who agreed with me immediately. He called a meeting with those teachers, who then almost completely stopped giving homework to the entire 5th grade! Boy were they happy!

I went to bat for my daughter even when no one else would go to bat for their child. It sounds like you had the same type of experience.


-Amy Proctor

7:52 PM  

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