Monday, October 23, 2006

Public School and the pushy lesbian mom

We are choosing schools for Zion again
funny, as we moved here for the schools
to this town
I worried about diversity
I worried about the queer family thing
I worried about acceptance of a boy
who loves to dance
who has an earring
who knows every musical
I worried about whether they would have the right books
I worried about the other kids
- what were they being taught at home?
Did they play video-games
would they play with war toys
What would they teach him - my son
I worried about academic standards and challenge
I worried and worried and worried
We talked to the town
We talked to the superintendent
We talked to the principal
we met and met
we provided testing
we offered
books, assistance, guidance
We were assured
All would be fine
And then we leaped
We held our breath
We covered our eyes
Zion jumped
Zion trusted
Zion started to fly
Zion started to fall
Zion crashed
Crashed and burned
Became silent
The school was moderately diverse,
Although he was one of the few African american kids who actually lives in the town
Zion didn't care about that at all
The school has a great mission
supporting diversity
Zion was fine with that
The school has one other gay family
Zion didn't care what kinds of families there were
And many adopted families
Zion didn't notice
Some multiracial families
Zion wasn't worried
he loves all
The school is safe in terms of all of these things
The school loves him
But the school has failed him
The school was unwilling to challenge him
Having clearly never met a boy
So clever
And this got Zion's attention
Zion cared about this
Zion came home crying
Every day
Asking why he must find the capital A
When he reads chapter books
Why must he count the five pennies in a nickel for homework?
Day after day
What is wrong with him he wondered?
When at home he is doing multiplication and learning about gravity
and john lennon and civil rights
kicking my ass at chess...
The school does not see this
They see a boy who is doing what his peers are doing
and maybe less
And that is enough
For them
meets their standards
And every day
My dancer wilts
his light fades
as he waits for teachers to inspire him
The way his dancing teachers do
the way his books do
the way discussing the world and politics and freedom does
I worried
I worried
As mothers worry
And nothing phased my boy
Except the one thing the school was supposed to do
Teach him
Today we begin to look for a new school