Good ‘NIMBY’ role models
The United States has a student expulsion problem which either indicates that the structure of, and expectations for, our public schools is out-of-whack, or that our children are not as good as those in other countries. We tend to deal with troubled students by tossing them out on their ear, and they’re lucky if there’s an educational facility out there willing to take them in.
In Germany, France and England, both private and public schools enjoy high graduation rates. Expulsion is rare. Supportive programs for students who thrive best at varying levels of curriculum, oversight and controls are the rule.
In regard to ‘what’s up with American kids?’ we prefer to believe the former case. Therefore, this newspaper firmly supports alternative educational venues for troubled students D those who have continual, frustrating (for everyone) behavioral or learning problems. Every student deserves as many chances as it takes to ‘get it right,’ and in most alternative schools, you’ll find students who are working hard to do just that. The hardened cases have usually hit the road long before landing in a place such as Truckee’s Community School.
It is true that a community raises its children collectively, serving up choices and role models from among its culture and resources.
At last week’s school board and public utility district meetings, where the proposed site for the Community School was discussed, many in the crowd were good role models for all young people in the rule of NIMBY D that is, ‘Not In My Back Yard,’ the mantra of so many who own private property and then believe they have the right to control the propery which surrounds theirs, keeping out all possible bogeymen or ugly structures.
Arguments against the Community School which arise out a concern for traffic safety or environmental damage to the landscape are understandable. That which comes out of a prejudice against students who have made mistakes in life and who now require more intensive controls and teaching styles are unacceptable and should be condemned by our society.
Give these kids a chance. Citizens who protest the Community School might find themselves asking for this same consideration someday.
And, you just might change a life by modeling a forgiving attitude.