Our school board had some hard decisions to make on Tuesday. The schools in the suburban areas in Edmonton are overflowing with students – due to a rising population of young families choosing to live in the ‘burbs and screwed up planning when it came to building new schools.
The announcement included plans to bus children from the suburbs to half-empty mature neighbourhood schools. Since then, the anti-suburbanites have crawled out of the woodwork. Gosh, they are nasty folks. So clever in their mean zingers on Twitter. I don’t shrilly judge those who live in mature neighbourhoods. What’s with the open warfare on families who live closer to the outskirts of the city?
1. There are good reasons why people choose to live in suburban neighbourhoods. I’ve written before about how our family reluctantly moved to our current home. We relocated here to get our son in a community school that actually practiced inclusion and believes he can learn (as opposed to reluctantly warehousing and babysitting him, as was happening in his old, mature neighbourhood school).
2. Not all schools are created equal (see #1). The reason that some mature neigbourhood schools are empty is because they are lacking in quality instruction and leadership. If these schools are so great – they have open boundaries – why aren’t families sending their children there?
3. I believe I still can choose where I live. Since when are all families mandated to purchase older homes in more central neighbourhoods? Last I checked, we have choice in where we live.
So thanks, outspoken Twitter hipsters – you stick with your trendy cafes and boutique-filled streets, with your short commutes and walkable neighbourhoods. I won’t judge you for your choice in housing, if you stop judging me in mine.