Wednesday, June 6, 2012

From pencils, erasers, to welfare...

Just the other day I felt like venting about something that happened at Bradley's school.  The thought of shouting it out here on my blog crossed my mind but as I reviewed the last few entries I had written  I learned that I mostly post about happy things, the what is going on around here kind of entries.  So I pulled myself away from the computer and decided I was going to run a few miles on the treadmill and blow off some steam. But now in retrospect I think I had a good argument going on and decided to handle it differently. I know that what I am about to say may put some on the edge but this is just a mere observation I made while I dropped off my child at school. For some it may seem a stretch but as parent who has set certain standards both for myself and my family I don't think it is much of stretch but a sad reality.  So the incident started with some pencils and some erasers.  As we were nearing the end of the school year and Bradley continually was using a pencil with no eraser. I had seen him use a pencils with a chewed up erasers or no erasers at all.  I asked him where his pencils were and he never had an answer, so the following day we brought a pencil with extra erasers.  I felt like I was bringing pencils everyday for almost a week.  Then one day I realized that all his friends at his table had all had new pencils and new erasers (the same ones we had brougth in), I asked the kids where they had gotten those pencils and they said the community box, but one kid said, "This is Bradley's pencil and he lets me use it."  Surprisingly this same child did not give up this pencil, when Bradley was looking for one, instead he suggested that he go look at another table's community  box. I was shocked, already at such a tender age they have been trained to take from Peter to give to Paul. Great!! That day Bradley again was stuck with the short of the stick and used a pencil with no eraser. I wrote a very extensive letter to the teacher explaining the situation and how I felt about the community box, I told her that it is not a community box if everyone does not bring their part to share. It does not teach to share but to take and sadly taking soon turns into expecting.  She agreed with me and said she had to split up some of the school supplies because some students did not bring their own at the begining of the year. Already I had brought in all the schools supplies that were required to bring and now I am having to bring more for those kids whose parents did not step up to the plate and provide their kids with what they need to learn.  I completely understand that there are some unfortunate families that may not be able to afford supplies, but I also know that fire stations, churches, and other non-profit organization help families with such needs. I don't think there is an excuse for a child to go to school unprepared and become another parents problem. After this incident anything extra Bradley would bring was labeled and put back in his backpack, I opted out from being the classroom pencil and eraser welfare provider. I soon learned that it always starts with something small as pencils and erasers and soon it turns into bigger things.