Friday, May 29, 2009
Dear Mrs. Winston
I remember meeting you about a year ago when you were campaigning for a seat on my county's school board. You were walking through our neighborhood, ringing doorbells and shaking hands, trying to get your name in front of the voters.
When you stopped at my house, you asked if I had children in school. I chuckled and said yes. You just had to ask one more question then, didn't you? You wanted to know how things were going for my children.
I started to tell you, and then invited you inside since I knew the discussion would be a long one. At that point, I saw the panic in your eyes, and a new appointment you 'just couldn't miss' was revealed.
Well, Mrs. Winston, you did win the election and you are now the school board representative for my area, the area in which all my children's schools exist. In fact, you spoke at my son's senior honors assembly on Wednesday. You were one of the 'distinguished guests' the program said. However, I must take issue with something you said.
You were speaking directly to the seniors. You told them that the County School Board spent $9050.00 on each of them, and then followed that with the admonition that you expected great things for that money.
Well, here's my problem with your statements. I believe it is the taxpayers that spent that money - not the county school board. Yes, you write the checks, but we the parents, the grandparents, the neighbors, and the friends are making those checks good.
Oh, and one other thing, my son does not have to prove himself and make good on the money spent on him purely to make you and the rest of the school district staff feel good. He will definitely do well in life - he already is - and his teachers played an important role in that - but you, Mrs. Winston, really didn't do anything. So, in the future, please keep your admonitions to yourself.
p.s. Yes, we will probably have this same conversation at least three more times as my other children reach the end of their high school careers. Perhaps you would like to rethink your distinguished speech for them.