So Much

There is so much upsetting me right now. It feels like everything is going wrong, falling apart. I’m trying to keep it all in perspective and remember that God’s all over it, but it’s getting more difficult.

The majority has to do with the kids’ school. A couple of years ago, the school became independent from the church that initially founded it. I don’t know what the impetus was for the decision, but it happened and everything seemed fine. It became a landlord/tenant relationship and the long-range plan was to eventually move into our own building.

At the beginning of October, the board of the church decided that they did not wish to renew the lease for the ’11-’12 school year. Which was a surprise, to say the least. It put the school in a bad position to try to find an alternative location FAST.

Then, as things inevitably happen, rumors began to fly. Innuendo began to pass. Some people felt they weren’t getting the truth and began to assume the worst. A great game of “he said, she said” was started. And as has happened with innumerable churches & ministries, people started taking sides. Even when there really weren’t sides to be taken.

I am frustrated. Discouraged. Irritated. Because what’s happening is that people are jumping to assume the worst. Yes, this situation is far from ideal. The school really isn’t in a financial position to buy or build right now, so it would be far, far preferable to stay where we are until we have the money to leave the nest. But the church board has said no. Several times. The school board has gone back several times – basically begging for another year and has been told no. The church board has said that they don’t wish to meet directly with the school board. Which, in my mind, puts the school board in a position where they need to move on to other options. And there are only 2. Find another location or cease operation.

However, some of the parents are insisting that the school board needs to go back to the church board again, and yet again if necessary, to find some way, any way, to stay in the building. We had a meeting on Monday where we all got to talk about this, ask questions of the board and share opinions. And it seemed that everyone was placing blame on the school board. That somehow, they had done something wrong and needed to fix it. I am not seeing this. I don’t know what is going on with the church board. I don’t know why they’ve cut off communication. I do know that if the school board is telling the truth (which I truly believe they are), they have done and are doing everything they can think to do to make it work with the church. And for some reason the church wants the school gone.

The fact remains that people are so quick to jump to the worst conclusion. They’re quick to assume that truths are being hidden, people are trying to get something past them. I don’t know. I sat at this meeting listening to people who are all up in arms, seemingly believing what they’d heard from one source but not believing the responses being given. People speaking about “transparency” and “lack of communication” which is simply baffling to me. There are regular meeting of both the school board and the PTO. Every meeting is listed in the calendar sent home every month. Any parent is welcome at any of these meetings, where any information (save stuff that’s confidential) is available to them. But they’re saying they can’t/don’t get this information, so that means it’s being kept from them. Notes, flyers, calendars, announcements are sent home every week in the kids’ Friday folders. Everything you need to know is there – I know this because I see it. And if I don’t, it’s because I didn’t check the folder. And if I need to know something that’s not covered there, I ASK. I email the principal or go in the school and talk to someone or pick up the phone. I don’t assume that it’s being hidden from me. And, yes, it might not be the best way in this day and age to make sure people get the information. An email list would work well. But, as I pointed out, how many of us would quickly get annoyed with the stream of emails we get containing information we don’t feel we need? If we were getting board minutes and financial statements and bylaws and calendars and all these emails with information that, today, we say we want. It wouldn’t take long before people got annoyed and asked that the emails stop or get more efficient or that they only get notices X, Y & Z. Then someone would have to filter all this information down into different email lists and make sure everybody got what they wanted and nothing more. And who gets to do that? The few parent volunteers who are handling all the things that the school staff can’t because they’re already crazy busy or that the school doesn’t have money for because it’s a small private school. Like in any other organization, the vast majority of the work is being done by a few people. Because everyone else is too busy.

Anyway. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I know at least one family is leaving at the end of this week – which seems crazy to me. Starting a kid in a brand new, public school in the middle of the semester when they know no one and have no public school experience is, in my opinion, a bad idea. But since this is starting, I believe it won’t be long before others follow suit.

I do not get it. I do not understand. We have this amazing jewel of a school here. Teachers who love and care about our students. Students who are performing above & beyond their grade levels. Students who have learned to treat one other with love, kindness, fairness and acceptance. Middle schoolers who make the little kids feel special and important. Administration that’s working hard to make sure every kid is getting what he/she needs academically, spiritually and emotionally. Parents who are bending over backwards to make sure the kids have extra-curricular activities, sports, awesome field trips, computer classes that are more than Mavis Beacon, new technology, websites and as many programs as we can physically offer. Parents who, in addition to their own full-time jobs and families, are giving their time and expertise to create an independent 501(c)3 entity, create bylaws, and make daily decisions to keep the school running and, hopefully, growing. Why are we as human beings so willing to glom on to the first negativity that comes around and allow it to take root, sprout and take over the garden? We need to do what’s best for these kids and what’s best is doing whatever we can to keep this school going.

So I’m praying. Hard. As much as I can. For the men on our school board and the attacks they’re receiving. For this school and its place in God’s plan for our town. For the teachers and staff and their uncertainty and continuing to do an excellent job in the midst of all this. For the kids who know what’s going on and who are confused, scared and just trying to learn. For the parents. For their confusion and panic and worry. That we all can continue to support our school (in whatever form or location it’s found) and realize what an amazing blessing we have here. And most importantly, to trust the Lord in all of it. He already knows what’s going to happen. He’s not going to up & abandon us or give up on impacting our community. So, I pray. If you wouldn’t mind, could you join me?