I started OurFocusOurKids.com to hold our school district accountable and increase parent involvement. I had hoped to encourage the school board and administration to bring parents and district employees together so we can work on changing the government school culture and improve the educational opportunities for all our kids. I learned the administration isn't interested in working with parents on the serious issues but I believe teachers have common goals with parents, many of the teachers are also parents of students in Beaumont Unified.
Through the years, I received very few comments to my writings but once I started posting to the Patch, that changed. There are many in our community who share my concerns and want to talk about them. I believe we can benefit from a platform where we can hold a civil and respectful public discussion to share ideas and work on solutions. However, the hostile tone of many of the comments about many of the issues presented on the Patch worried me. I needed a level of control to the discussion that I didn't have on the Patch to keep the discussion focused and productive.
I started posting to Facebook to reach more people and to host a civil and respectful community dialog. I believe parents and teachers need to work together to find solutions to address our problems. I want to hear criticism as well as suggestions, however, only civil and respectful comments will be productive. I believe in order to keep all sides engaged, we need to leave the past behind us, check our anger at the door and stop letting mandates and other obstacles get in our way. I have some ideas but I don't know all the answers and I can't do it alone, I've tried. I need open, positive minds from parents as well as teachers to find the answers. The status quo has to change.
I don't want anyone who brings productive thoughts and ideas to the discussion to feel uncomfortable when they express their point of view. I will begin actively moderating the comments on the Facebook page in order to keep the tone civil and the discussion moving forward. I hope I don't have to do much moderating, but when I do, I hope everyone understands what I am trying to a to accomplish and not take offense. If you do have a problem and want to take me to task, feel free to email me directly at OurFocusOurKids@gmail.com and say whatever you want in any tone. I promise to respond. Let's keep the discussion on Facebook and my website, civil and respectful.