So My Kid is in his last semester of middle school. One of the reasons we moved out to the 'burbs is so he could go to decent public schools and we could feel good about sending him there. And we've been totally pleased with his elementary and middle school experiences. The high school district we're in, on the other hand, has some problems.
It's overcrowded and the student population has turned a little sketchy. Several drug arrests and even a few weapons busts. So last year we started preparing for his private high school education. Filling out forms, testing, saving up the $5,000 a year tuition. We went through all the preparations. Got him accepted, paid the $400 deposit. Everything was right on track. He seemed to be pretty excited to be going to his dad's alma mater.
Then the school board went and fucked everything up. They built another high school in order to relieve the overcrowding. And they redrew the district lines, to take students from School A (which we were in) and School B to put them in School C (the new school). And when the drawing and erasing was all done, we were no longer assigned to School A but suddenly found ourselves in School B.
Now School B has traditionally been a very good school. It's older than School A. But in the past couple of years it has suffered from many of the same problems - overcrowding, some gang activity, drugs. Although, to be fair, I've not heard of any weapons being carried into School B. And this new school, School C? Yeah, that's where they're shipping out all the questionable students. So, on paper, School B is going to be cleaned up pretty good come this year.
And then, it turns out that School B is where all his friends form Middle School were going anyway. So all of a sudden, Kid doesn't want to go to private school. He wants to go to School B. With all his friends.
My initial concern was that School B is going to be an unknown this year. You know, let's let it all shake down a bit and see how it turns out. Give it a year or two and then move him over to public. He brought it up again. I considered that he could probably use a little more structure academically. He cried. He cried. He said he didn't want to go to school where he'd be all alone (meaning, he wouldn't know anyone). And I realized that one of my best friends in the world, I met in 8th grade. When I was My Kid's age. These truly could be lifelong friends for him.
Then we went to the private school orientation on Sunday. And the decision was clenched.
TURNS OUT THEY DON'T HAVE A CAFETERIA. THEY DON'T SERVE LUNCH. YOU HAVE TO BRING YOUR OWN. EVERYDAY.
Oh, that Kid is soooo going to School B.
You'd think for $5,000 a year they could serve them a fucking tray of spaghetti. For $5,000 a year, they oughta get lunch. And it ought to be hot, healthy and tasty.
So I drew up a contract.
HIGH SCHOOL CONTRACT
We [the parents] agree to allow you [the student] to attend School B as long as the following conditions are met:
1. No drinking
2. No smoking
3. No drugs
4. No fighting
5. No cheating
6. No cutting school or skipping class
7. No unprotected sex
8. No phone/computer privileges until homework is done
9. Maintain a reasonable grade point average
If these rules are broken, you will lose the privilege of going to school with your friends, and we will take you out of public school and put you into private school.
He signed it. I signed it. The deed is done.
And Big Daddy is not crying over that $5,000 I just saved him.