Editor's note: This commentary was edited due to libel in accordance with Independent Newsroom Guidelines.
If you live in Scottsdale’s middle class, you find a school board that does not listen. You find your concerns ignored. Asking for transparency is likened to committing war crimes.
How many times have I asked questions and received zero replies? Too many times! How dare I try to get answers!
Sadly, it seems that this school board actively opposes the parent voice. Parent voices are viewed as a problem. Did you not know that the district always knows what is best for our children? Yes, parents must be in lockstep; otherwise, you are the problem.
Since the early 2000s, I have been fighting for the best education I could for my six children. I am fighting against educational redlining and outright neglect, and the school’s performance can continue to lag, and attendance can drop, yet I am the problem.
Our schools are threatened with closure while others get programs. We cannot tithe more, so we are left with threats of losing yet another school. If you buy a better public education, you get the leadership’s ear; otherwise, you are worthless? That is not how public education is supposed to work. Sadly, that is how Scottsdale school leadership seems to work.
If you can raise the money and buy an education, you get listened to. That is the message conveyed by the current school board president. Again, I cannot buy an audience with him, as I am not as wealthy as he is.
When has America viewed parental involvement as a negative? Apparently, in SUSD, it is. Parents can not advocate for their children or their education unless it is with cash or a check. The parent voice is not seen as patriotic but as a disruptive mob. Unless you are providing your tithe to the district, you are a problem.
I continue to fight for what is best for my children, yet I am given the same song and dance. America is the land of the free if you live in his ZIP code apparently and bring a big check.
Scottsdale a land of educational opportunity if you can pay the price of admission.
Editor’s Note: Edmond Richard is a Scottsdale resident and Scottsdale Unified School District parent.