In Pinellas, rezoning angst across generations
In light of the proposed rezoning in Pinellas, plenty of upset parents have offered stories to the school board and the Gradebook about their children being zoned and rezoned and sometimes zoned again. But an email we received from a St. Petersburg parent offered a perspective that spans generations. Sonya Shaw-Glenn, who is objecting to a policy change that may affect her daughter, says she endured a number of rezonings when she was a kid in Pinellas, too. She agreed to let us share her email, provided we didn't mention which school her family is zoned for. She said she did not want to unfairly malign that school. Here is her note:
I have three children all in public school. The rezoning that I have been reading about only affects my youngest child Danielle who is now in 3rd grade. I choose to send all my children to Lynch Elementary. (It's a long story, but Shaw-Glenn said she made the decision to send her children to Lynch because of complications with transportation and after-school care.)
What I would like to get across is that the school board has been messing up kids' and parents' lives since I can remember.
I am 45 now. As a child, I went to Lynch first but because we moved, I went to Rio Vista next. Then, because of busing, I went to Campbell Park. When the busing changed and kids went back to neighborhood schools, I went back to Rio Vista.
Next, I went to Meadowlawn Middle and then because of rezoning, I went to Riviera Middle. Northeast High is the only school I was able to complete from start to finish.
Now, they are starting on our kids.
First it was choice when my son started school. He now is in 7th grade. My oldest daughter is now in 5th and will be going to Meadowlawn, so this won't affect her.
My youngest, who is in 3rd, is really upset about changing schools. I want the school board to realize that kids start making friends and relationships as early as Kindergarten. Also, it is not only the kids who have a relationship, it is the parents. I know the principal, assistant principal, all of the office staff, most of the teachers, etc.
If they think that only kids going into 5th should complete the school they are attending now, they are wrong. Either make it all or nothing. Because my daughter, going into 4th, and the next person's child, going into 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th, should have the same option as the 5th graders.
I hope everyone makes enough noise that the school board leaves things alone. People's lives are already set up based on the schools that the school board told us we had a choice to send our kids to.