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he should've been the chairman

Magazine Man has been writing about difficulties with his child's school system. I had a good chuckle after reading it. Not at MM obviously, but at the way the school system operates.

The short and short of MM's plight is that a disciplinary decision was made not in favor of MM's kid, however, the reason for that decision was "It's the easiest thing for us (the school system) to just blame all parties involved instead of finding the real cause of the issue, and your kid has been elected scapegoat by association. Congratulations. Have a cigar. You'll have to wait six months for that cigar by the way because the budget doesn't allow it at this time."

All this reminded me of my first experience with "the educational system". My father, Richard Sr., was Chairman (with a capital C) of the Board of Education for the Town of Killingly in Connecticut at one point. Here's a good tale to tell your friends:

During my kindergarten years I was watching a lot of Sesame Street and The Electric Company. A ton of it, in fact. My mother's standing rule in the household was that if the television was on, it was on PBS Channel 2 WGBH Boston only. During the evenings I could watch Dukes of Hazzard, Knight Rider or A-Team, but during the day, it was all PBS. No if's, and's or but's about it.

Oddly enough, from staring at the tube during my early years, I learned how to read. One day in kindergarten I picked up a book off the shelf and started to read it. The teacher took the book away from me and said I couldn't read yet because the rest of the class hadn't started reading yet. Better yet, I had to wait a whole year before I would even get the opportunity to even look at a book.

Sad and depressed, I went home. I had learned all this cool stuff about how to read, only to be told I couldn't. I told Mom and Pop about it. Pop was not pleased.

The next day after class, I was personally taken by the teacher into the classroom after it had emptied out and was told "Richard, you can pick any three books you want. Go ahead. Bring them back at the end of the week, okay?" I happily agreed, picked out my three books and took them home to read.

Pop had a nice little chat with that teacher and several other high-brow, or rather self-appointed high-brow, figures in the school system. Years later when Pop told me the story, the teacher turned white as a ghost and damn near fainted when she found out that she told the son of the Chairman of the Board of Ed. that he wasn't allowed to read a book.

True story.

The reason I tell this tale is because school systems as a general rule hate smart parents with smart kids who, I dunno, excel. They don't want to talk to them or even acknowledge their existence. All ducks must be in a row after all. (groan..) MM classifies as one of those parental figures school systems hate - only because he pays attention.


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