I would like to take a moment to say THANK YOU to all the teachers of the Gresham-Barlow School District.
Our children go to school every day and enter a place where they are loved, cared for and educated. They are curious, they are happy, they are confident and they will have a bright future- thanks in no small part to the people who work so tirelessly for them every day.
I understand that both sides (the school district AND the teachers) have concessions to make in order to avoid a strike. I understand that school budgets are taking a beating, and we ALL have to make sacrifices in order to recover. I understand that my children simply won't get the same education I did, years ago, in the same schools. Change happens.
What should NOT happen is a school district completely ignoring the backbone of their organization when it comes to safety, schedules and compassion. What should NOT happen is an official distict website using language so slanderous and disresepctful to the district's employees that I- as a parent of the district, not a teacher- cringe to read such a passive agressive slap on the cheek. What should not happen is a school board walking away from negotiations while my children's education is on the line.
I have seen some things that, in my opinion, the teacher's association could bend on. I have seen the anger, the passion, the hurt that has the school board on the defensive. And guess what? I have an opinion about that.
Sometimes, just acknowledging some else's frustration goes a long way toward finding common ground. I have seen the teachers do that. Now, as a parent, I ask the district to do the same.
If a strike happens, I will be very disappointed. I will feel sad for my children, for the families of the teachers, even for some school board members whom I believe really WANT to reach an agreement. I will be sad for the district that helped form me and so many around me.
If a strike happens, my children will not cross a picket line. I do not believe that my eager to learn students will get the education they deserve while their beloved, hard working teachers stand on the sidewalk in a last attempt to be heard. Instead of sending my children in to get a sub-par education at a school which has always provided them an excellent education, my children and I will stand WITH those people who stand FOR them. My children will return to school when those schools are what every child deserves.
I ask any Gresham-Barlow parent to join me in this. We simply cannot support our schools without supporting the teachers within them.
I am confident that if the school district goes back to the table (and STAYS there as long as is neccesary), with the intent to find a respectful solution- our teachers will do the same.
Teachers: THANK YOU. From the bottom of my heart- for all you do- thank you.