It is time for parents to stop being afraid of opposition when we fight for our kids. The other side will make efforts to silence us. We need to be more fearful of our children’s futures they do not have their academic needs met, not what others will think of us when we stand up for educational change
Since 2007 I have been educating parents how to support their children and their academic needs. I let them know it is not an easy fight, but worth it even if you come across those who may oppose your views or willingness to make a stand when you know something is not right. This very philosophy came into play significantly for me in 2012, when someone whom I had never met sent an attacking email to other parents, naming me an enemy of my children’s school district. As devastating as that email was to read, knowing I had spoken up for my children, as well as helping to raise $1 million dollars for our district to save the jobs of teachers, the accusation was nothing in comparison to what I was about to face.
This same person, during a 2012 school board election, decided that he was going to use both my name and that of Parents Advocate League (PAL) to create websites implying PAL and I were in support of his candidates of choice. He did this without my knowledge and without my consent. He denied this initially, but eventually admitted to it, claiming that it was his constitutional right to take my name for his use, even when he lacked my knowledge and consent. In fact, I did not even know about it until a friend broke the news to me while I was at my son’s Pop Warner football game. It was devastating to hear over the phone.
I took legal action to defend both my name and that of PAL, while he filed a special motion to strike or to have my legal action dismissed. His special motion to strike or dismiss the case was denied, and the judge ruled that his actions were not protected by constitutional activity, further indicating that what he did may very well be a crime. He is currently appealing the judge’s decision to not dismiss the case; it is on appeal with the appellate court, where the parties are waiting to schedule the oral argument. He has enlisted the help of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which believes that it was this man’s constitutional right to take my name, as well as that of the organization I founded as a parental resource, PAL, and use each as he wishes.
I am not telling this story to whine or to attempt to scare any parent from standing up for their children; I am, in fact, doing just the opposite. I am telling this story to prove that, despite the efforts to silence my message, I am still fighting for students and their educational choices. I refuse to stop until students are the true focus of education.
There are many people who do not want changes in education, instead demanding that the current state of education remains the status quo. However, when we live in a state that is ranked 45th in student achievement, we cannot let the current level of education remain the same. It is time for parents to stop being afraid of opposition when we fight for our kids. The other side will make efforts to silence us. We need to be more fearful of our children’s futures they do not have their academic needs met, not what others will think of us when we stand up for educational change.
We, as parents, need to speak out and support our children, their futures, and the great teachers that work hard to ensure our kids are receiving the best academic attention.
Please know that you do not stand alone. Let’s keep working together until we receive the best education possible for our children.