|As part of my job I work with local and area high schools, as I'm sure I've mentioned before. One of the things that I've learned by doing so was where I'd send my child to school. Like most cities, there are good and bad schools. Pros and cons to each school. We have been in a few schools that have had Alternative Schools in addition to their high school. The student make-up is much different for the alternative schools now, than it was when I was in school.
In my small town the school options were the high school or catholic school. If you washed out of one you could go to the other. It was rare in such a small town that people would flunk out of both schools. But that was just it... Alternative schools were for those who flunked out. Not necessarily for behavioral issues. That sorta of thing was dealt with either through in-school suspensions or expulsion if it was really serious.
I was surprised to see kids in the alternative schools for reasons other than academics. Behavioral didn't surprise me... Social issues did. Medical issues did. A teacher said that some students were their because of medical issues such as allergies or diabetes. The reasoning being that the public school wasn't meeting their needs because of their health issues? I was curious. How bad could a persons health be that public school wouldn't meet their needs; but alternative school could?
One teacher reported there was a student who was alternative school because he was ostracized for being gay. What surprised me about this was that a school would see this as an acceptable course of action. He wasn't in danger of flunking out. But because of "social issues" he opted for alternative school. Now this isn't to say that being out and in high school is easy. I have no basis to talk about how hard that might be in high school. I wasn't out until afterward. Yet, even then... I'm surprised a school would choose to allow alternative school as a way to handle the situation.
On the way back from a school the other day my coworkers and I were discussing where we'd want our kids to go to school. A couple people said they were opt for private schools over public school. Some preferred the quieter more affluent schools. My option was for a more diverse setting for a school. Whether that is diverse in education or population I'm fine with both or either. Part of my concern would be a child with gay parents would have a difficult enough time. Kids can be cruel. I wouldn't want a school environment where he or she might be ostracized because of his home life. Based on the schools that I've seen so far I think that is less likely to happen in a more diverse environment.
Going to the alternative school really made me think. I feel for the kids. I honestly do. Some people may not have the best choices made for them when they are too young to make their own choices. Then to grow up and continue to make poor choices because that is all you know... it'd rough. I'm glad there are schools out there that are willing to handle anyone that may come in their doors.
Labels: future, school, work