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public school

My parents told me the news yesterday - Matthew and Lisa will be going to public school next year.

Lisa’s gone to the private school (my alma mater) for 3 years now, but she got in some trouble at the beginning of last year, and that made a lot of her friends not want to hang out with her. And when you have a junior class of only 30 or so people, its hard to find new friends. Matthew went to private school for his 8th grade year, and before that was at a homelink/homeschool program for 3 years or so. Megan and I both graduated from the same private school. Leonard went to private school for 2 years before moving to public, and dropped out half way through his sophomore year (lotsa drugs, sex, and no learning), and never went back.

So I wasn’t surprised to hear that Lisa would rather go to public school, but I figured that Matthew wouldn’t have a choice. Apparently, they talked about it, and he didn’t think he was smart enough to go to private school. sad He was worried that the work would be too hard. And with Lisa not being able to drive him the 35 minutes each way to school, convenience is probably an issue here too.

With Leonard being the only example in our family of public schools' non-sucess rate, and knowing that there are a lot of drugs in the Camas-Washougal schools, these things make me nervous. Lisa’s already dating a looser and doing crap, but Matthew has a lot of potential IMO. And I know that he would really like a few of the private school teachers that I had while there.

But they are going to be going to a brand new high school - its not even finished yet, but will be for the school year. And with public school comes no more worry for my parents about paying for school - Mom’s been working 4 hours or so a week cleaning the church to help with their tuition, and with her being in school now too, that’s getting unrealistic. And plus, public school has a lot more options available. Small private schools can’t offer nearly as many activities or curriculum options.

But there’s definately more of a chance of getting in a bad crowd at a public school than a private; with so many more students. E did remind me, though, that Matthew isn’t as great at being the center of attention, and with such small classes at the private school, its kinda impossible to not stand out. M is more like E, and likes to blend in, but still participate. So this could be a good thing for him.

I just worry, ya know?


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Public schools aren’t all that bad. Of course, I graduated in '92, and they’re worlds different now.

The biggest thing is going to be the strength of their characters. There was tons of crap around my school if I’d have wanted it. It never ocurred to me to want it.

They saw what choices Leonard made, didn’t they? At least to some extent? That should help too. They won’t want to make the same mistakes.

It sounds like, from all you said, that public schools might be the best choice from all angles. They’ll be fine.

Just be super-extra careful that they don’t take anything that even resembles a knife to school. With all the crazy-ridiculous zero tolerance policies many schools have, *that's* what I worry about.

I transfered from 9 years of private school to public school for a semester before I started to have trouble and transfered back, but I think that mostly it happened because I didn’t have older brothers and sisters to use as role models. As Jennifer said, I think they will learn from Leonard’s mistake, but also from yours and Megan’s. Not only will they look at your example, but most likely they will look for your support now more than ever. Good luck. star

I think kids are strong natured or "not", and will thrive no matter what the environment depending on how well they stick to their own beliefs. I have a 20 year old daughter and a 16 year old son who have both attended public school all their lives. They’ve both done great!! I think it’s because they’re both strong enough to do what they know is right, rather than what others try to persuade them to do.

I went to private school in high school for grade 11 & 12, and I went from and honor student in public, to barely passing in private, because I had so much more freedom than I did at home. (course that was back in the days of the Flinstones!)

If Matthew is a good kid..........I think he’ll be fine in public school!

I went from a private school to a brand new public school too. The nice thing is, when it’s brand spankin' new like that, everyone is in it together. It’s no one’s "domain", and it’s usually a smaller class, because some people don’t want to leave their old schools to go the the new school. Ours was clean, although it was in a ritzier neighborhood. We were the first graduating class, and it kind of just pulled us together. Everyone was close.

I think Matthew is smart enough to do very well in public schools. You’re just worrying, like any big sister would. heart

I went through public sch0ols all of my life, and I think that I turned out pretty good. wink

My school was considered one of the "worst" suburban schools in the area (I think it’s probably the best though, because of our strong music department) considering that there was a lot of drug use, and fighting, there was a gang or two that I can remember. I never saw a lot of it though, because I knew where it happened, and I was smart enough to stay away from it. I found a niche for myself in the music department, and I had friends, I went to class, and I did really well for myself.

I don’t know about the school that Matthew and Lisa are coming from, but times have changed - the private schools, both religious and non-religious, around the Rochester area are some of the worst in terms of underage drinking and recreational drug use. It’s where all of the rich kids with trust funds go - mom and dad don’t particularily care what they spend it on. So they may be coming into a somewhat better environment, especially considering the larger class sizes. More opportunity to make friends with similar interests. smile

I think that Matthew and Lisa will do just fine. luvyaheart

Now, MY two cents smile

I went to private school (run by nuns, even) when I was little, and my parents put me in a public school for middle school. I loved public school so much.

When it came time to go to high school, our town has four big, highly respected private schools in the area that usually draw at least half of the graduating 8th grade away from public schools. 3/4 of my best friends went to those four private schools, I went to public school. Out of those friends, almost all of them got into the drug scene and bad-kid scene heavily. I certainly did my fair share of partying, but my public school turned out less screw-ups than the respected private schools.

I always grew up with the impression that there were more (dangerous) drugs in private schools, because that’s where the kids with the money to buy them were. Public schools, usually the worst you see is pot, and the private schools, it’s coke and heroin.

I think it’s hard to see what the other side of things are if you grew up one way. Just like you take offense when you hear negative things about homeschooling, some of us do when we hear bad things about public schools... all of our reactions is to say, "hey, I turned out fine, I *like* the way I was schooled!" Just something to keep in mind smile Everything has its positives and negatives.

I also thought that the private schools were much worse in terms of drugs and sex than the public schools.

I went to private schools most of my life, I was shuttled back and forth between four or five of them because I was never happy in any of them. Halfway through tenth grade, we 'gave up' and I transferred to public school. I wish I had done it earlier, because I liked it so much better than I liked private school. There were more than 15 people in my grade, the teachers were there because they loved teaching, and there were actually extra-curricular activities for me to participate in. I didn’t have to worry about being caught in a bad crowd, because there were so many other people there who weren’t interested in partying, whereas in my private school it seemed that I was the only one not getting high.

I’m hardly an expert or anything, but it does sound like Matthew and Lisa will do okay...they’ll have so many more options available to them. Plus, they’ll have you to keep an eye on them! wink

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