I am the parent of two children in Edmond Public Schools, the same district where I graduated, and I have always considered myself a champion of public education. As a student, I had wonderful teachers and inquisitive classmates from all different types of backgrounds. Additionally, the public nature of our school kept us rooted in the collective success of our community and neighbors.
I still support public education, but my experience during the COVID-era has brought on a disturbing revelation: The system is designed to leave parents with as little power and influence as possible.
As a parent, I am encouraged to attend PTO meetings and volunteer to help fundraising drives. When it comes to substantive concerns — will our school be in-person or remote? How will teachers support students with special needs? What does the curricula entail? — I have found that parental input is often met with indifference or even hostility.