Dear Lakewood City Schools…

photoDear Superintendent Patterson,  Principal Waters, Lakewood Board of Education and anyone concerned with the well-being of children:

I am writing in regards to my daughter and her future. Jillian has been a stand-out student at Horace Mann in Lakewood since she began attending as a fresh faced, eager kindergartner with pig-tails and a crippling case of shyness.

She has excelled there and I’ve watched her evolve into a strong, intelligent young lady. She’ll be entering into the fourth grade this year. Unfortunately, we’ve encountered a rather large obstacle. I was just informed two days ago that my daughter will no longer be permitted to attend the school she’s grown to love so much. The issue? 2.2 miles. You see, I moved up the street two miles on April 1st. As a first time parent, I was unaware that I needed to seek permission to relocate within the same city. I’m new at this… I simply didn’t know this was a thing. I proceeded to follow email direction from Lakewood City Schools and completed my online registration for Horace Mann about a month ago.

Two days ago, amidst all of the excitement of back to school shopping and the anticipation of reuniting with all of her friends, I had to inform my daughter that she will no longer be permitted to attend Horace Mann after receiving an unexpected phone call from the school. To a nine year old with social anxiety, this has been absolutely devastating news. She doesn’t want to eat, complains of headaches and cries at the mere mention of school. Today she said to me, “mommy, I’m going to lose all of my friends and my teachers from St Peter’s (pre and after care program) that I love so much. I hate myself.”

As a parent, those words rocked me to my core. I’ll be honest… I’m angry, hurt and confused. I’ve made phone calls to everyone who will listen (some much more empathetic than others). I clearly indicated on the registration form that we had moved. Why am I hearing about this less than a week before students report to school. I’m being told that “open enrollment” ended April 2nd. I moved into my new place April 1st. Why would I think I needed to enroll my child in a school she’s been attending for the past four years? I was informed that she’s still in the computer as a student at Horace Mann and they’ll “just ship her file to Emerson”. Is that how easy it is? Aren’t you in the business of sculpting minds and building futures? Why is a child virtually expendable to you? Where is the concern for how this transition will affect her?

My daughter has experienced academic success, best friendships and more than a few skinned knees under the watchful eye of the faculty at Horace Mann. I’ve trusted this school with the single most important thing in my life… My child. My greatest accomplishment sits in a classroom under your roof because I believe in the institution. So, because of that, I am unwilling to accept that there’s nothing anyone can do in this situation. The answers I’ve received are unacceptable and I plan to fight for my child’s continued education at Horace Mann. If that means I construct a home out of cardboard boxes and strategically place it in the parking lot near the playground just so I can have my mail forwarded there, that’s what I will do. Some things are worth a fight. My child’s scholastic and social well-being is not something I’m willing to gamble on.


2 Responses to “Dear Lakewood City Schools…”

  1. August 22, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    Shyness? That must skip generations.

    Have you talked to your local city councilperson? They might be able to help.

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About the Broad

A humorous look at dating in your mid-thirties and the other hilarious things that happen around us on a daily basis.

August 2015
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