I have had the opportunity to speak with many people over the last few months about my candidacy for School Board. One question that invariably comes up is whether the School Board should approve (encourage or allow) turf at one of the schools, and in particular at Heather School. The staff and principal at Heather said that they wanted turf because they currently have to close the field to children for safety reasons. They play on the blacktop and not on the gopher-hole ridden bog that is the Heather playing field. The staff would rather tend to scrapes with Band-Aids than deal with twisted ankles from the gopher holes. I don’t disagree. Even if you disagree about the issue of turf (I would definitely prefer that children play on grass), turf is better than blacktop. Turf versus grass is an issue for which the outcome will not please everyone; but everyone needs to be an advocate for their position at this point because nothing is set in stone between the School Board and City Council. Joe Simitian said in his talk on Advocacy on the 22nd, that you need to be persistent and find and advocate willing to float questions or comments that support your position. I agree.
The Price of Privilege
The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage Are Creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kids – I read this book this summer (it was suggested reading for the parents at our school). It was written by Madeline Levine, a psychologist in Marin who sees an endless line of unhappy teenagers, and she suggests that we need to let our kids have time for thoughtfulness, to think, to be needed. Parent over involvement with their children’s lives is actually counterproductive. They need to get to know their innerselves – figure out what they really think, not what their parents think or what their friends think, but what they really think. It is a thoughtful book, and is especially applicable to the children in our geographic region. Note: Madeline Levine will be speaking at Woodside High School on October 17th, 2007 for the Common Ground Speaker Series.
At the Candidate Forum on October 2nd, one of the audience members, Jason Clark, who is a pediatrician in our area, asked if it was feasible to have a public school for Special Ed services, like the Charles Armstrong School in Belmont. Aside from raising the money to run such a school, I think this topic warrants a longer discussion, but more importantly it warrants Parent Ed on the topic. There is so much misinformation and non-information out there it is hard to tell if everyone who needs such services is actually receiving these services. As a parent of a child who uses Special Ed services this is a hot button for me. I had a teacher tell me she thought my child should be evaluated but she would NOT say for what. So, we went through a barrage of tests to figure out what was going on with one of our children. Unfortunately teachers are not allowed to say what they think is going on with your child because they are told not to say (fear of law suits, being saddled with Special Ed costs, other liability, state laws, etc.). As a result of our experiences over the last 4 years with the Special Ed processes, my husband and I now have a strong interest in two things: helping other parents figure it out ,and 2) Sensory Processing Disorder (it finally has a name). Please call me if you have an interest in this area and want to learn more. I can be reached at 650-281-8325.