August 16, 2016

Journey of a Malaysian with a bunch of strangers fighting an incompetent school board and administration

Never in a million years I would have imagine myself fighting a school board of educators because they closed my daughter's school.  August 13, 2016 they announced they were closing my daughter's school.  By then,  I met up with a few parents to just discuss what we as parents could do.  We were all pissed.  Why?  It's an 8 year old building that opened its doors in 2008 and it cost $100 Million to built.

I remember asking myself, I'm just a housewife who hasn't worked since 2000.  What can I contribute to this group. They were CPAs, lawyers, project managers, teachers, financial analyst.. everyone was welcome to join the group.  Our meetings kept getting more regular and we had to find different venues for our meetings as we were just a "random" group.

Finally one day, we became a PAC and could finally secure a public building.  I sat in our meetings trying to understand the issues and numbers.  I felt intimidated by a lot of the people in there.  I was also at the same time in awe of this group.  I called a few of them pit bulls.  Not because of they were vicious but persistant.  Finally the word I realize I should use is PERSEVERE.  Nothing made them feel defeated.  Any obstacles especially our numerous FOIA denial,  you would think this group would give up.  No, our "head" said "its ok,  it shows a trend" and its fine.  I've also foia-ed 2 other school district similar to ours. Let's see how fast we get from them and we have a good comparison."  I was blown away and realize, if it was me, I would have given up.

Over the months,  we learnt to keep investigating and analyzing data or information we could get from our FOIAs.  Calls were made ISBE, media, States Attorney. The group was an organized mess as everyone of us just stepped in where we could.  Nobody had a specific job, we did what we all could.  Some jobs were more obvious than others.  I still felt a bit like a weight as I didn't think I could contribute but I knew enough to walk around the neighborhood and talk school with neighbors.

To Be Continued....

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