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Taylor Elementary

2008-08-17

Category: philosophies

The recent flooding in Cedar Rapids damaged many buildings and one of these was Taylor Elementary School. Taylor was part of the Cedar Rapids School district, so the children can be moved to other schools without too much trouble. This has not been as easy as it should be.

There are many, but not all, parents of students from Taylor who are protesting the proposed move. They think the city should be able to instantly finish repairs to the school or put up temporary buildings on the same site. They claim that it is far too disruptive to the students to have to go to new schools and meet new people.

Taylor Elementary is one of the few schools in the district that have school all year round. The students still attend for the same number of days as other students, but the breaks area scattered so they don't have the huge summer break that other students have. This is important because the district tends to be one where children shouldn't be unsupervised for long periods of time.

You see, that area tends to be lower income and has a higher incidence of non-traditional families. (Note that I'm being polite in my language.) There isn't always the structure one would want in the children's home life that would lead to stability.

The argument from the parents is that the flooding has been too disruptive to the children and that having the same school would provide an anchor in the chaos. The problem is that the family is supposed to provide that anchor. Many of these families do not have the stability necessary for this. Instead, they want the city to bus these children from wherever they happen to be living now all the way back to a nearly-destroyed school.

A good number of these students no longer live in the area around Taylor due to flood displacement. They live in different neighborhoods and will associate with different people. They will learn different things. Children are remarkably adaptable and can cope with these changes, provided that the adults around them set a good example. It is truly sad that these parents refuse to be adults.

I always have a hard time reconciling my general compassion for others with my firm belief in Darwinism. The compassion makes me really feel sad for these children. My Darwinist ideology makes me hope that these kids will learn from going to other schools that they don't have to be like their parents and can do more with their lives.


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