Prologue: A school in our community was slated for closure pending a school board vote. Recently in our neighborhood’s online forum, a member asked how we show our love for our neighborhood schools aside from showing up at a special meeting to discuss the closure. This forum is a bustling group of almost five thousand people, who will comment hundreds of times on a post about dog poop, but only twenty on a post about a school shutting down. It made me think about how we prioritize what matters in our lives and how we show love for the things we prize.
How do we show love for our neighborhood public schools?
We show love for our neighborhood public schools by enrolling our children in them.
We show love for our neighborhood schools by showing up at events and engaging the staff and the students.
We show love for our schools by choosing thoughtful and strategic action that benefits all our public school kids.
We show love for our neighborhood schools by having difficult conversations about race and class, and engaging in the tough self-examination that can help move us toward a more equitable culture.
We show love for our neighhorhood schools by building them into community hubs that are a resource for all.
We show love for our neighborhood schools by giving complexity the respect it deserves, understanding that we all want what is best for our kids, and many people work tirelessly for years to keep these vast organizations running.
We show love by taking responsibility, by not separating ourselves from the problems, by not placing blame, by offering practical and creative solutions.
We show love by caring all the time, not just when it’s exciting or popular but when it’s hard and ugly and boring, by working constructively when it’s uncomfortable and supporting families who need help.
We show love for our neighborhood public schools through intention; by listening to the harsh information with an open heart and mind; by recognizing allies and cultivating them.
We show love for our neighborhood public schools by voting for city council members, mayors, school boards, governors, and legislators who support public education and who will work to end the defunding of our schools.
But above all, we show love for our neighborhood public schools by enrolling our kids in them.