School Bashing

I got an interesting email tonight. I thought it was from my kids’ school PTO because it had the name of the school (we’ll call it “School” for now) in the title: “School Parents”. The email included a link to a blog that has been started for the parents of this particular school to use as a forum. The “about” section says “Use this site to share your concerns, thoughts about the quality of education, and ideas for how to improve.”

There are not many posts yet. I’m concerned, however, that these posts are more about bashing this school and this school district. The blog poster asks a lot of “Why”, but doesn’t try to give any suggestions on solutions. I don’t know. I have a really uncomfortable feeling about this. They have made it so everyone can comment anonymously (which really I’m fine with) so people don’t have to “worry” about administration or faculty reading it and getting some kind of retribution.

Nothing positive is really being posted. If someone comments, “I think the school is great! I love the teachers.” the commenter is attacked for not talking about the students. It seems to me the creator of the blog just wants a place to complain and let others complain.

The other thing that bothers me is how this person got my email. I don’t know how they got my email. All I can figure is that they actually work with the PTO and have taken advantage of the email list. It just feels ethically icky. Yes, I just said icky. I don’t know for sure that there is anything wrong with it because I didn’t sign anything saying “do not pass out my email address”, but you would think that is a given. I’m pretty upset about it.

I won’t put the link up right now because I’m not comfortable with that blog. I don’t want to promote more traffic, and I don’t want them linking to me.

I do like the school. Yes, there are problems, but what school doesn’t have problems? Yes, this district has major problems. My husband works for the district and I see a lot more than most people just living here see (don’t get me started on what the high school administration is doing to him right now…). However, there are some good people working here and volunteering and trying to change things and make a real difference. You want things to improve? You go in and made a difference. You don’t start a blog under the guise of a forum and just complain and attack those who have something positive to say. maybe that’s just me, though.

I still have more thinking to do on the whole issue.

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5 responses to “School Bashing

  1. Lame, and kind of scary really. Negativity breeds negativity. I think you are right on this one. Take your complaints and positives to the school.

  2. Maybe they (whoever works in the office) are trying to deflect the habitual complainers to the web site, so the complainers can blow off steam there. That way, the office can deal with people who have legitimate complaints and suggestions for change.

    Seems to me that there will be plenty of people who feel the same as you, and they will avoid posting to the web site just as you are doing. Let the complainers complain. And we all know there is no such thing as anonymity on the internet anyway, right?

  3. I had a completely different response in my head until I read Karen’s comment. She brings up a good point with giving the complainers a place to vent.

    Chronic complainers of any kind really grate on my nerves. It just seems like such a waste of energy — why not be one of things going right instead of just being someone pointing out what’s wrong?

  4. Ugh. This kind of thing makes me so angry. If you don’t like the school, don’t just whine and complain, and for crying out loud don’t run away from it! Figure what you can do to help improve it!

    I have too many “defending the neighborhood schools” discussions with people around here who are shocked that we’re planning on sending our kids to public school until they graduate. Yes, I do care about the quality of my kids’ education. No, I don’t see how running away from the problem will help. Being a public school parent means I’m committed to being involved in my kids’ education. I volunteer at the school. I get to know their teachers. I encourage the girls to ask for help when they need it. I’m not afraid to stand up for them. But some people, I guess, feel better complaining than they do actually doing anything.

    Okay, I’m stepping off my soapbox now. I think I better go get a drink of water and stand in front of the fan for a minute. Sorry this got to be so long.

    I hope this issue fizzles out when the people posting there have had their say. Or, maybe, like Karen said, it’s the office’s clever way of directing the whining to a place where they don’t have to listen to it. I like that.

  5. My school doesn’t have a blog for parents to comment on (that I’m aware of), but we do have an awful lot of parents who complain about EVERYTHING. Most of the complainers are parents who don’t even know what’s going on in school because they never come to conferences or anything. When the principal told our PTA that she would like them to give all students a free t-shirt (most of the families are low income) the parents were infuriated and the principal said the PTA president was the worst and made some of the rudest racial comments she has ever heard.

    My husband quit teaching after 5 years. His problems came from school administration as well. (And he taught on the west side of the valley)

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