Sunday, February 04, 2007
Fired UP!
Perhaps I should say "Fard up." It's the Tennessee in me.

It's 1:43 am and I shouldn't be up this late, but I am so mad I can't see straight. Why? Well, I made the mistake of reading the forums at the website for our newspaper. I should know better. Really I should. I just don't learn. Inevitably, when I read those forums, there is some idiot spouting off and it gets me all riled up. This is one of those times.

Let me do a little 'splainin' first. In this here town I live in, there are basically two sides of town. The north side and the south side. The north side is more affluent to varying degrees and the south side is the "poor" side of town. The wrong side of the tracks, if you will. It is poor in both perception and reality. Of course there are some areas that are worse than others. There are different types of nice neighborhoods and also different types of run-down neighborhoods.

In this town, there are two high schools. Central and Southside. Central=the rich kids. Southside=poor white trash. This is pretty much how the folks over on the north side of town have seen Southside ever since I can remember. Growing up, we were kind of middle of the road as families go. We (my sisters and I) went to a southwest elementary school and middle school, but because of freakish boundaries, we went to Central High School where we mingled with middle income kids as well as rich kids.
Southside High School

I admit that I hated Southside back when I was in high school. This was mostly because of cross-town rivalry in sports because I was SUPER FAN. However, I do remember it being pretty much a "known" that Southside kids were poor and bad and any other derogatory word you could come up with. I've since grown up.

That stereotype lingered in my mind and when we moved to the South side of town, I was a tad worried. My oldest had gone to kindergarten at one of those "good" schools and now would have to be moved to one of those *GASP!* south side schools. Luckily, at the time, I worked with a girl whose daughter was going to the same school so I drilled her on the school. She put my fears and worries at ease. Was I ever pleased with that school! Brianna (and we) were blessed with a wonderful principal and teachers and classmates. Was it a perfect school with perfect children? Of course not. But, we couldn't have been much happier with a school than we were with that one.

When it came time for Brianna to go to middle school I was met with the same sorts of worries. Again, those worries were unfounded. Now, she is at that high school. The one I once hated, I now love. Brianna has tons of school pride. She is thriving, as usual. Don't get me wrong, there are problems at Southside just like at any other school. Nothing I would pull her out of the school for though.

The one thing that is glaringly obvious about this school is that, yes, it is the 'poor' school. We have to beg, borrow and almost steal to get what we have. It's a struggle sometimes and it's frustrating. Frustrating to see the rich kids HAVE while we HAVE NOT. It's the way of the world, I know, but knowing that doesn't make it any easier to stomach.

Fast forward to me reading those forums that I mentioned. There has been talk, as there is about once a year, about consolidating the two schools into one. As usual, it is met with rabid opposition from both sides. I am completely against it, but in the end, a consolidation will probably happen within the next 10 years or so. So, here is part of one of the posts I read on the FORUM:

"...I purposely bought a home on the North side of town with my children in mind. When they start going to school I do not want them being around some of the children from the south side. If I wanted them to attend a trashy school, I could have saved myself thousands of dollars and moved to the other side of town.
...I assure you that I'm not the only person who feels that way."

Oh NO they DI'NT!

You KNOW I immediately fired off a response to that one! However, I was actually pretty calm (even if my hands were shaking) and typed a(n) (almost) well thought out response. I just feel that in a round about way, this person is calling our kids trashy and that just doesn't sit well with me. I couldn't just let it go.

Before you take ME to task for letting this get to me, I need to clear something up. I DO understand the desire to give the best of everything to our children. I have that desire. I want them to be safe and happy and well-educated. So far, the two that are in the school system ARE safe and happy and will be well educated when all is said and done. I just don't think that because our school is old and worn down and the student body as a whole is not dressed in Abercrombie stuff (or whatever the latest brand name must-have is) that they/we should be called trashy. Snobs just burn my hide.

We don't have the money to buy a home "over there" and you know what? That is perfectly fine by me. We fit in well over here amongst the po folk. They don't look down on us or check the tags in our clothes.

I am proud to be south side trash!
posted by Angie @ 1:43 AM  
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