I woke up this morning in a hotel room flipped on the TV and the movie “Won’t Back Down” started on HBO. It’s a story of a mother and a teacher joining forces to take over their failing school. The movie is based on a true story but as anyone knows things tend to be glamorized for the silver screen, small screen, and at times even in casual conversations. Some reviews online from advocacy and education groups state how this movie is not the best for parent empowerment and some ways discredit the movie. This is interesting because it’s these negative forces in the movie that were used to discredit their efforts.
Those negative forces can come from anywhere, parents, schools, teachers, unions, administration, bureaucrats (by the way the word bureaucrat is not a bad word it just means doing things by the rules but always seems to have a negative connotation, however sometimes the rules need to change). I’m far from anti-union… but when people become too bureaucratic that use the rules to get out of doing what is right I find frustrating and any entity that does that same I feel are less than trustworthy. This occurs in all walks of life personally, professionally, and philanthropically. Sometimes giving in or giving up is easier. We tell ourselves that we are accommodating or working together and become content with settling. Settling is not bad…sometimes we are wrong, sometimes we don’t have all the information, sometimes others have better ideas but passion and a good gut instinct is rarely wrong.
I loathe when people tell us what we need to do, when they lecture or talk down. This attempts to set themselves up as a superior force is damming to those very people they are there to help. We have had providers and educators disagree with us but when they can explain in a compassionate manner their opinions are respected and it shows they are part of team.
Our move to Johnston has provided Grace with a great school, teachers, and classmates. It hasn’t all been tiptoeing through the tulips but in the end we do know in our hearts that we are in the best place for Grace within the limits of our world. We miss our old neighborhood, we miss trees, there are still disagreements with the school, and we still have to be diligent with getting the best for Grace. Often I think people think ‘oh you are in Johnston, they are great with special needs…you must have no worries’ we thought that to before moving. Part of us was too naive thinking that we would have it easy and there would be no worries…many times the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Again we have a great school and we do believe we made the best decision possible for our family.
Hoping for something better is far from doubt. Fighting for what is right is far from wrong. Being content for the status quo is a disruption to improvement.
I leave you with the last word in the movie…Hope.