should the type of school be the parents or child's choice?

AzuraMarch 21, 2002

should the type of school be the parents or child's choice?

i think it should be both. i went to a private catholic school for 9 years and it was HORRIBLE! the kids were mean, used profanity, talked about inappropriate body parts, were backstabbers, gossiped cruelly, and were JUST PLAIN AWFUL! and they were catholic private school kids. i was really angry bacause my parents worked long hours to pay the tuition and i'd be better off in a public school.

okay, this is just my opinion.

public schools are better than private schools because:

1)you don't have to pay any tuition

2)awful people are everywhere and you can't escape them just by enrolling in a private school because THEY ARAE THERE!

3)more freedom

4)because of #3, you develop more self-confidence

5)no awful uniforms (they confine individuality and are itchy and are terrible especially in the winter and you freeze, or you get in trouble for not wearing it because it was in the wash and hasn't dried yet)

6)more varity of classes

7)more choices of foreign languages(my high school only has 2 can you belive that?)

my parents made a horrible mistake of sending me to a private school for nine years and now they put me in a catholic high school! it was bad enough i was stuck in the rotten school for nine years! just because my brother thought the school was okay, my parents ASSUMED that i would like it too (have they ever heard of being unique?)

so now here i am, stuck in a catholic, private, all girls school with a high cost tuition, awful uniform and dreadful 85-minute classes...i am already worrying about how i am going to able to afford college, maybe i shouldn't go...AND IT'S ALL MY PARENTS FAULT!

they never stopped to think whether i'd be comfortable in a private school. they just ASSUMED i would

they never asked if i would like to change schools or go to a public school

they never listened when i asked if i could change schools

so now thanks to them, i have no self-confidence, an extreme phobia of males, lack of sleep, probably a damaged back from too much homework...

and they still lecture me about how they are working so hard to pay for the tuition...well, guess what?! i never said i wanted to go to a private school. so they aren't making any sacrifices, i am.

and if they don't let me change schools soon i swear i am going to cause a lot of trouble, not do any homework and let my grades drop even though i am on the honor roll, and make everyone's lives miserable.

parents shouldn't assume and put their kids in a catholic school just because they think that catholic people don't do drugs,drink, smoke, or do bad things. everyone does. it doesn't matter what religion you are. and my parents are just plain freakin stupid because they thinks that putting me in a catholic school will result in some sort of miracle. it depends on the person and nothing else.

so please reply whether you agree or disagree. i'd be glad to read your opinions, comments, and responses.

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First of all, being picked on is not unique to public or private schools. I had my share in all my years of public school. And the couple of years I spent in private school was neither better nor worse.

I can tell you really needed to vent. As a parent (and by the way, former child) :-), I will tell you my opinion on some of your questions.

1) No the child should not choose. The new concept of children having to take responsiblity for their own raising is a mistake in my opinion. I'm guessing you were around 6 when this decision was made. It would be unfair for a parent (adult) to ask a 6-year-old to make that choice. What if it turns out badly? Then that poor child thinks it's their own fault.

2) Your parents may OR MAY NOT have made the choice based on assumptions that private school would have less drugs and misbehavior. Did you ask them? The decision I am currently making for my own DD is NOT, i repeat NOT, based on that notion. I knew enough private school kids to know that being private does not make all the students little angels.

Could be that they made the decision based on other factors. Here are some of the factors I am weighing currently:

Religion (in this day and age, freedom to say grace over your daily meal is something not to be taken for granted)

Quality of education (still not sure who the scale will tip in favor of here)

Location (in our area, commutes are heck and ruin quality of life if a poorly chosen location is selected)

Financing (will public school allow me to quit work and spend quality time in PTA and volunteering in the public school in order to ensure DD is getting the quality she deserves? etc etc... Or will the other factors make the extra money worthwhile?)

Facilities (do the public schools have to use trailers as schoolrooms?)

Extracurricular (what is the music program like? What are the available extras?)

Your parents surely weighed all these things and more. Talk to them. Let them know how you feel. Be business-like in listing the pros and cons both ways as you see them. (be fair, and really think about both pros and cons).

I'm the oldest in my family, and the teachers I liked, my younger brother HATED, and he could not understand why I liked them so much. Conversely, he enjoyed other classes that I disliked. That is to be expected regardless of private/public.

I have seen many younger siblings, where adults and teachers lay a lot of assumptions on their life, based on how an older sibling handled things. That happens, and you should talk to your parents about these feelings.

Just understand that what you have experienced, happens in life. And your jumping to a lot of conclusions is clouding the issue, and is not leading toward a solution. Don't assume, for example, that moving to another school is going to miraculously eliminate teachers' and parents' expectations for you. Nor will it prevent getting picked on.

You need to get a little more unemotional about this (i.e. threatening not to do your homework and make your grades fall - yeah, and how do you feel that will solve things?). Calmly list pros and cons of both. Also write down what's eating at you (i.e. being compared to your brother, being picked on, etc). Then ask your parents to meet with you.

There are many super parents on this board, and hopefully they will have some good advice, too. I do remember being a teen, and how BIG some problems can seem. Hopefully your parents can remember what a tough time this can be, also. But only if you are able to separate emotion from practicality, and TALK TO THEM.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2002 at 7:50AM
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You are the child. They are the parents. Parents should decide what they think is best for their children. Sometimes the kids agree, sometimes not. However, they would be abdicating their responsibility to you if they allowed you to raise yourself.

That said, I do think that parents should listen to their child and take his/her thoughts into account when making decisions. But the ultimate decision is theirs, not yours. When you are an adult you will get to make your own decisions.

TREKaren is correct. You need to get your emotions under control. You need to bring your list of problems to your parents in a non-confrontational way. Going to public school will not guarantee:

1. You will not be picked on.
2. You will not have a dress code.
3. You will have more freedom. I am not sure where you get this from.
4. You will have more self esteem. This comes from internal, not external factors. If you have self esteem problems you need to get to the core of what causes them. I am almost certain that the causes are more complex than public/private school selection.

I don't see how not doing your homework will solve your problems. All it will do is get you in MORE trouble with your parents. I would not suggest it as a solution.

I am sure your parents have your best interests at heart. If you can collect yourself enough to have a rational discussion with them. Ask them WHY. I am sure they will tell you if you are resonable about it. If you aren;t they are bound to become unreasonable as well.


    Bookmark   March 22, 2002 at 12:42PM
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Remember that the decision of which school to go to is made each year. Now that you are older, you have the opportunity to infuence that decision, and it could be worth your while to do so, since a change is possible.

I agree w/ you (and so do TREKaren and Momma Bear) that kids can be awful in both types of schools, and if the only decision to choose a private school is to avoid crummy people and getting picked on, it's a waste of money. And yes, if you go to a public school, you can still be surrounded by low-lifes and get picked on, just as you are now.

But let me go in a slightly different direction from them on this: If you are having trouble with specific kids, or if you feel that the smallness of the school is making it hard for you to redefine yourself, then perhaps a change to another school can be freeing. I have heard of many cases where a kid gets the brunt of it at his school, and when he switches to a different one, he finds a new group of kids to hang out with, he sheds any old reputations of geekiness he has, and he is happier. If that's likely to happen to you, TELL YOUR PARENTS.

I think that at your age your input on this decision matters. Your parents need to know what you do about your school. They need to know if you're unhappy. They need to know you want to take a foreign language, or a different extra-curricular activity.

Also, if you can find out WHY your parents chose this school for you, and what they wanted to accomplish for you (for example, if they wanted you to have instruction in your faith, or they thought the commute was easier), you can then think of ways to get that for them even if you go to public school (example: you sign up for religious instruction midweek, and take on perhaps the responsibility for family devotions every Wednesday in a "chapel service" at the dinner table; or you check into bus routes, car pools, etc., and prove how responsible you are in terms of getting safely to school).

Also, I know that I had an inordinate amount of freedom for a high school student. Why? Because my parents truly believed that they did not have to worry about whether I would drink, do drugs, have sex, or commit crimes. I showed them every day, not just by being on the honor roll but by talking about my faith, by talking openly about my friends and my feelings and my attitudes. They heard the tone in my voice when I said I couldn't understand the appeal of getting drunk on the town square. They knew whether I was dating a boy, and what my opinions of premarital sex were.

If you can show your parents how well their values have taken hold in you, maybe they'll be more relaxed about trying to shelter you with a Catholic school.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2002 at 5:42PM
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