I am a parent of four boys in JCPS but today I am discussing my experience with one son that previously was a student at XXXXX and I currently have a 1st grader that my husband and I have decided to transfer out for the upcoming 2019-20 school year.
During my four years at XXXXX it has been a challenge from the beginning. The Teachers do not like you in the classroom and it was to the point that I had to explain to the Teacher as his Mother it is essential for kids to see their parents in the school. During field trips yet again you had to twist arms to be included. The holiday parties parents were never welcomed and the excuse was they didn’t have room for you or they didn’t want you to see the kids with issues. It was not welcoming at all.
Dr. XXXXX told me instead of complaining I needed to volunteer and change it! I began to do so. I joined the PAC, SBDM, FRC and eventually became XXXXX’s PTA President. These many hats helped me to gain insight of the climate of the school and was the only way I was able to forcefully but politely become involved as much as I could.
This is where all the problems truly occurred. The minute I asked Staff for PTA membership and to assist in PTA family and school activities the Staff was very offended and felt that wasn’t their responsibility but it was only to Teach. Yes! I agree they are only Teachers but we were a four member board that was determined to offer a low income, poverty stricken the same offerings as any school with a higher income would receive.
Mostly, I received harsh criticism and as supportive as Dr. XXXXX, the current Principal, at XXXXX was, it didn’t help. The Teachers felt the need to begin anonymous calls to 15th district which caused an investigation to occur and was found the money was ALL accounted to be in order. The Teachers that spend more awake time with our kids would not speak, including some Administration as well. My fibromyalgia doctor offered to come to Career Day and I was told they would contact me but never did. How many doctors would take off to do community work for a school? How many schools hate a Parent that much that they wouldn’t use him? They would ban together and throw away flyers, intentionally not support so they thought many activities would flop. Of course, it made it rough for us and we didn’t make alot of money but we did things right. The activities always was a blessing to the families! We had zero complaints from families. When in-school functions occurred they would leave us alone and we would have to try our best to get Parents that had no Parental Involvement to assist us. We relied heavily on our families. We also sought out help from Frost/ Stuart PTA would bring kiddos, Valley, PRP and Doss students needing community help hours.
My husband was the basketball coach for two years and he dealt with resistance and trying to find ways to sabotage the games by threatening to punish the kids. Also, I think out of all the lack of support, nastiness, in-your-face arguments, to the point I no longer feel my son could truthfully thrive there. How can I now not trust my son’s school.
Lastly, the worst of all was on November 9, 2018, while yet again trying to do something fun and free, was our schools 1st ever XXXXX Dance. This morning, my former Treasurer, was accused by a Teacher of trying to run her over in the parking lot. This situation was attempted to be handled in house but this Teacher that despised our PTA states the apology my Treasurer email and even was instructed by Dr. XXXXX to say in his presence and she did. Later, she says that wasn’t good enough. She simply slipped her feet on wet road and her life and family life was forever changed. Ultimately, her 13 years at XXXXX is now gone and her kids she states is scarred by this. She will be homeschooling her current kindergartner and fifth grader. It led to depression and other medical issues.
To add the biggest punch of all during the dance I was popping popcorn, became ill and ultimately made it outside on the concrete and had a heart attack. I have never had any cardiac issues. I am so thankful for my former Treasurer, My Mom who is a former Teacher, XXXXXX XXXXXXX, who volunteers all the time. Also, about five volunteers showed up and Dr. XXXXX was there to keep it going while I left by ambulance with the fire dept assistance.
When I returned the Teachers would turn their backs and still do. The few I did bond with no longer speak. Why should my son have to move his school because these women felt they had a sense of entitlement and they care less what happen to me or my family. Why should I have to stop serving such a wonderful set of families? I had to because my family, friends and the Principal felt my time is up. I can no longer continue to fight. Yes, it is still hard but I see now how some JCPS Teachers, Administrators as well as 15th District can turn their back on you.
I was a former PTA President at XXXXXXX for four years and XXXXX for 2 years. Due to my heart attack I was asked by [15th District PTA President] to put in my resignation since I wasn’t coming back. The Board was only left with my VP because my Secretary left with me due to the toxic environment. I talked to [15th District PTA President] about this and she promised she would make sure these kids had a nice rest of the year. She requested three ideas and I told her I would do whatever is asked of me to help the transition along.
It hasn’t happened. She was dishonest to me. They decided that [15th District PTA President] would be XXXXX’s President, [KY State PTA President] would be the Vice President and the parent that was left on the board. This was the current XXXXX Elementary PTA. The problem with this I should have realized that the agenda wasn’t for the XXXXX kids when they had no kids at the school and my conversation always was Pro- Teacher. [15th District PTA President] felt that Dr. XXXXX pitted the PTA board and the Staff against one another. I quickly corrected her.
What bothered me as a volunteer for 15th District is I never heard from them after the complaints and accusations rolled in by XXXXX Staff to cause havoc. I was told anonymously by someone that knew my character from 15th District. When I was home recuperating from the heart attack there was not a whisper until mid January when a Teacher contacted [15th District PTA President] and told her that she heard I resigned. Yes, it was an agreement in conversation with Dr. XXXXX because that toxicity would ultimately continue and this would not be safe for me.
My experience with [KY State PTA President] was nothing at all! I never have had a personal conversation from her. I received a call from her staff stating she heard some things and needed my books via call. When I asked for clarification she was too busy. My board knew we were ok based on books but the bias due to the state Kentucky was in with the way she treated us was very unprofessional. We were set to have a joint meeting even after my heart attack because the school still wanted to hound me with complaints. [15th District PTA President] told me it was because the PTA did the spirit wear, snow cones and fundraiser. I told her on the phone that this was ludicrous because what PTA doesn’t do it! Plus, all our fundraising went straight to KPREP!
It was an excuse to control and be a school that all is ran by Staff. What is it now! Exactly, what we feared. Now, the kids are not doing anything and the money is feeding the Staff repeatedly and select agendas that should have already been paid for is being wasted.
Why am I not allowed to volunteer when I ask? Why was I not allowed to be a delegate to vote in the PTA election when I asked? Why was I quietly removed from the SBDM and told my time was up? Why do the children and families spend their hard-earned money for two years and not one thing has been done for them but only to take money from them? I was yelled at in meetings, felt threatened and treated like I didn’t belong. The saddest part is they deserve more and their goal is to keep Parents clueless. They don’t know how to fight for their kids. How many more schools treat their Parents this way? I am learning I am not the only one. We wonder why our children are in the condition they are in.
A sad Day, Mrs. XXXXXXX XXXXXXXX
The views expressed here are those of the author, submitted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via our open letter form. While the full name of the author has been withheld here, they are not anonymous to us. If a school board member would like to follow up on the content of this message, they may contact us via email to request a connection with the author.