I’ll tell you a secret. At some point, every parent feels like they are the only one with the problem. You are angry, maybe embarassed. You don’t know what to do. It feels too big to tackle. You get angry at your kid for causing the problem, even if its not their fault. Maybe you go to school and shout at the teacher. Maybe you write an angry letter to the teacher or principal. You don’t get any satisfaction. Have you been there?
If you don’t talk to anyone about it, you are just like the Mom in “Waiting for Superman.” She’s not happy with the teacher, she writes a letter and then badgers her son when the teacher doesn’t answer. Her solution? Apply for a charter school. [He doesn’t get in]. She’s waiting for Superman to fix her issue.
But there is another way. Get together with others. You’ll find out that you are not alone. Lots of people share your issue. But until you get together, you are fighting alone.
In the film, A Community Concern, organizer Emma Paulino from Oakland says it best.”I thought it was my son. Then I realized it was the system.”
We can’t win the needed battles alone. We need each other. Look at the success of PEOC’s campaign to return arts and music to our schools. One parent couldn’t do it. But lots of parents and their children did succeed. They didn’t need to wait for Superman.
So what about special needs children? gifted and talented programming? the abuse of suspensions? the lack of movement on building our schools? We can wait for Superman or we can organize.
Want to know more about education organizing in Paterson? Join us on Saturday at PCCC. We don’t have to wait for Superman. We have to work together. Are you willing to try?
See you there!