Friday, September 12, 2008

School Politics

I have a natural tendency to stir up controversy. I know this and I own it. Challenging authority, engaging in lively debates with my friends, and voicing my opinions are just a part of who I am. I'm not going to apologize for it. Lucky for me I've got a cadre of girlfriends who are equally passionate and sparks really fly when we put our heads together.

Our latest crusade is raising hell at Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) meetings. PTO meetings are currently held in the middle of the afternoon, which might be okay if they were at least held over the lunch hour, but they are not; meetings are held in the middle of the afternoon. I have always thought the chosen time was a thinly veiled ploy by the PTO board to discourage working parent participation.

At other area schools, meetings are held in the evening so working parents can attend. Not so at our school and it smacks of elitism because our school attracts a specific parent type: upper middle-class to affluent professionals. The parents who run our PTO and head our school do not understand that outside our little school bubble exists a world where people, a lot of them parents of children at our school, have no control over their workday. To schedule meetings that are impossible for certain parents to attend is a smack in the face made even more repugnant when the other hand is outstretched for donations; direct donation by parents is our only school fundraiser that yields an average of $45,000 for our school.

So I talked to some other moms about it and I e-mailed the principal too. I met a lot of resistance but I enlisted the help of some powerful sister-moms. Before long, PTO was the hot topic and by applying just a little bit more well-timed pressure, the powers that be have relented ever so slightly. One meeting will be held at 5:30 pm, which I think is still too early for working parents but it's progress that will silence my complaints for now.

I think PTO is secretly hoping no one will show for the later meeting, they are evil like that, just so they can say "Look, we tried and it didn't work." But us sister-mom's, we're on a mission and, if we have to, we will join the PTO board and shake things up from the inside out. For now, we're holding our collective breaths, staying our check writing pens, and keeping a keen eye out for more positive developments.

1 comment:

sorel top said...

Power to the people, baby!