My school is under siege. Well, technically it’s not my school (and technically it’s not under siege). It’s the elementary school Jett attends. This is a school which is the center of our neighborhood. This is a school sought out by parents in our district for their children. This is a school that attracts buyers to our neighborhood (like it did us 10 years ago). And because the Texas Legislature slashed education funding, our school is possibly going to be closed, and our students divided and sent to several different (further away) elementary schools.
To protect my children’s privacy, I won’t mention more details than that. But know that our community has been called to action. I’ve gotten more than 100 emails on the subject in the last two days alone (and I’m not even in a leadership role in all the strategy). But I’m confident in our community. I know we will do all we can to keep our beloved school open.
My biggest concern, of course, is Jett. He is currently the only small old enough for elementary school and of course the one for whom a closure and new school would be the most disruptive. But not in the way you might think.
The anxiety of not knowing is the hardest thing for him. We had to make the decision this weekend whether to tell him about the possibility of closure or not. And it really boiled down to the chances of him hearing about it at school from the other kids.
When we told him he didn’t seem to mind at first. He asked a few questions and then changed the subject. But quickly afterwards the tears came for every little thing. He didn’t like dinner. He didn’t want to go to school today. He wanted to argue with everything I said.
Some of that’s just plain kid stuff. Even I realize that. But some of it is reaction to uncertainty. And we are all feeling uncertain tonight. Maybe kids like Jett are a barometer for what we all feel.
That may be part of his gift to the world.