For the record:
"It is horrible that 6th graders are capable of doling out such inappropriate behavior towards fellow classmates, horrible that faith and/or ethnicity was the label that lead to intolerant and what some consider discriminatory actions. However, I am also perplexed by the efforts of Edward Weinhaus".
I suppose I can't go on without some form of commentary on this issue, for more reasons than the obvious tragedy of events leading up to a student being slapped in my daughters former school simply because he was Jewish. It really is sad folks. There are few people, not even including my mother who lives in LA, who have not heard about this. And I am nervous to even write about it for fear there be retribution. There, I said it. I say it for obvious reasons as well: for fear of being considered intolerant myself, minimizing the issue, and/or at worst case, being considered anti-Semitic by, according to the Edward Weinhaus's site, 242 very pissed off people.
While I too share the emotion of what happened, (and do not in anyway condone such behavior), the bottom line is, I don't trust Edward Weinhaus to represent my communities concern, he who's agenda is obviously more centered upon "attention getting" rather than working cohesively to resolve the issue. Weinhaus, a concerned parent who's children do not even attend Parkway West Middle School, headed up the site, calling for resignations and investigations. I do somewhat admire his fervor. I have to admit that.
I take issue with his spin on the issue: deliberate, hidden, attempting to find fault, portraying a lack of concern by teachers and administrators, community. The big one--the cattle call for significant media attention--that which portrayed our district and our community as intolerant. There is implication that our entire community is intolerent, because of the media attention given.
"Hey Weinhaus, bravo dude. But I think you missed the mark".
I found this quote while doing some research on this topic:
"If you walk in the room and say, nobody likes me, everybody looks for the reason. Perhaps it has to do with being the center of attention?"
I don't think this community is intolerant nor incapable of handling sensitive issues. I live in the Parkway School District and trust who manages things. I feel I am a part of the community and my child was indeed a student of Parkway West Middle School in the Parkway School District; an imperfect and evolving institution moving towards being a better place to educate our children. But a knee-jerk call for resignation of our administrators for whom we as a community elect and trust to resolve issues is shallow. You see, it is not just Mr. Weinhaus and his constituency saddened by the unfortunate incident. It is all of us together.
Just because you are Jewish, Mr. Weinhaus, it doesn't necessarily mean that you are any more disgusted or appalled than I, or others (of all faith) making up our community. Did your approach glean the results you wanted? --or did it quite possibly alienate those who might have embraced the need for change--those parents whose values need influence and adjustment--those who might have embraced the school systems reaction to the seriousness without media fodder. Will this happen the way it should if things were given the opportunity to play out through school districts policy? You see, it is the parents who are ultimately responsible. It is the school district who provides influence.
I can't help but think that there is a better story to be told here: Who is Edward Weinhaus and what is his agenda?
I haven't found too many blog posts on the issue speaking up for the school district and the administrators at Parkway Middle School, though I have heard that many people showed last night at the Board meeting in support of the district moving on, letting them do their jobs and not to seek more investigation. I (and many parents who were appalled with the behaviour of the students) am confident that specific policies, procedures and guidelines will soon be in place to avert this happening again, a learning process achieved by students, teachers, administrator and the community.