May 8, 2014 by readlisaread
I’ve been a public school teacher for more than 20 years, and so, along with all the other things I know to be true, I also know about “institutionalism” and the thinking that goes with systems. And, I also have a good dose of “dance with the one that brung ya'”. I’m loyal, in other words, despite being inured. And so it is that I when I heard a news item about a local private school on the radio this morning on my way to work, I was automatically tetchy. As the whole story unfolded, I moved instantly to outraged anger.
Here’s the deal.
I have nothing against the school– I actually know a number people who work there and consider them friends (they may not return the sentiment after reading this rant, but rant I must). I have nothing in general against private schools, and think that private and independent schools very often fill needs that we in the public system simply can’t. I do, however, very much resent government funding (with my tax dollars) a for-profit concern that further widens the gap between the needy and the rich.
So, this privileged school, populated by well-heeled, well-fed and well-trust-funded kids received a gift in the form of a cash endowment from an alumnus of the school. A gift to the tune of 19Million dollars. Yes. NINETEEN FREAKING MILLION. 11 of which is earmarked for a NEW LIBRARY. (The other 8 to the endowment fund). So…. I’m already resentful, thinking of what that kind of money could have done for the entire district, or hell, even a few neighboring districts. But to build a LIBRARY of all things… (as someone pointed out to me, they have a gorgeous gym already, and a great cafeteria, and really don’t need anything else updated… so…. Library it is). Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against books– I rather love them–but paper and ink are so last century.
And there we have the thinking behind the gift… so last century. I see social activism rising like never before. I see people not only learning about other parts of the world, but actually caring. I see families donating time if they can’t spare money to charitable events. And then I see a “Daddy Warbucks” (or maybe he’s the fat guy from Monopoly?) disregarding any idea of charity, social conscience or even just being a decent community member and choosing instead to renew his subscription to the Old Boy’s Club.
Oh I know, I know, it’s his money, he can splash it out wherever he wants. But even if he had dialed down that cheque to 17 or 18 million, and let a cool million or two rain down on the rest of the community, he would have looked like a better human being, hundreds more kids would have benefited, and they still could build a stupid library if they wanted to.
I hope they have a section on “Social Justice” or “Global Activism” in the new Library…..
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