Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Another rant about the schools...

Let me begin by saying that I do love and adore my children's schools, teachers and the school district. The schools here were one of the big reasons I wanted to come back. They work to meet the needs of every child, at whatever level that child may be. There are so many great things about the Candyland ISD, I could go on and on.

That said....

I just don't believe that they think things through completely. First there was the Thank You Note fiasco, and now with Election Day here, yes, I have gotten my panties in a wad again. Our district has put before the voters, for the third or fourth time in the past several years, a school bond proposal. These have been voted down consistently in the past. Mostly, in my opinion, because they were unrealistic in what they promised to do with the voters' money. The schools are all in need of many things, but some of the promises were just not going to happen. And everybody knew it, so they said "No."

This year, the school board and planning committee were actually smart and looked at what could and should be done for a reasonable amount of money. I think, I hope, that the bond issue will pass. For no other reason than the schools have been cramming it down our throats since Meet the Teacher Night in August.

I swear, they have sent home some stinkin' piece of paper about this bond issue every week, either promoting it or "reminding" parents to vote. Then last week, both of the kids got in the car with this little card in their, hands shouting, "Mommy! You need to go vote!!" Seems that if you go vote with your parents, you can get your card stamped and then you get some free ice cream or something at Sonic.

The SugarBabies were less than pleased when I reminded them that I already voted. By mail. I don't vote here in Candyland. SD and I are registered to vote in my hometown, which is our military "home of record." We figure that we have never lived anywhere long enough to see the fruits of our voting in that place, but that we can vote to benefit and take care of my parents. I take my right to vote very seriously and fill in my ballot as soon as it comes in the mail. I have since college, the very first time I was eligible to vote. Once we are settled somewhere for good (the sooner the better, I say), we will register and vote in that place. I told the kids I would take them to Sonic next week after the election anyway and buy them a slushie.

Then I got to thinking (no, I didn't hurt myself too badly) that this is a really big military town and I can't be the only parent who votes by mail. Most people I know vote in their home of record for the same reasons I do. And then what about the kids whose parents, for whatever reason, can't vote? It's been a big deal, evidently, to go to school and show off the stamp on your hand (I guess they stamp the card AND your hand?) from going to vote with your mom or dad or whomever. I am just seeing this as another case of singling out the kids who are different. My kids, after the first five minutes, really didn't care. SugarPlum has been telling people, "Oh, well, my mom voted by mail weeks ago!" She sat there and watched me and we talked about it while I filled in the ballot. (Like why I was reluctant to vote for Gov. Good-Hair) She was a little disappointed that they didn't send the little, tiny pencils that they used to put in the ballots. She could make one of those things last for weeks! She remembers what a big deal it is to me.

But what about the kids who don't have the over-abundance of self-confidence that SP has? Here is just one more thing to make then feel bad about themselves and their family. I'm all for "get out the vote" campaigns and I believe that if you don't make the effort to vote, then you need to shut up. You don't get to have an opinion if you choose not to express it at the ballot box. Especially here in Texas!! where there is no excuse not to vote. You have the opportunity to register to vote just about everywhere and you can go to Early Voting at the MALL, for crying out loud. But please don't take it out on my kids or anybody else's kids if the parents can't vote or won't vote or whatever. It's just to tough to be a kid now as it is. Don't make it any tougher!

Now, you there! GO VOTE!! And then I'll take you to Sonic. Honest.


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