I continue to receive phone calls and emails from concerned district residents (from BOTH Cottage Grove and Monona) that have been kicked off this email list because they have asked the administrator/s to identify themself/selves. Parents from Cottage Grove are angry that the MGSD.Community is linked to the Cottage Grove PTO, which is supposed to represent the entire population of Cottage Grove elementary parents. I have heard complaints from parents angry that the Cottage Grove PTO is using the funds raised equally by all to distribute literature with an email link to the MGSD.Community. I have heard concerns from Monona parents who feel like MGSD.Community is bent on marginalizing their place in this district. I have received emails from district residents that won't even allow me to quote from them anonymously because they are scared of the political backlash from the MGSD.Community. I have read comments from our parents and community members who are just straight up sick and tired of all this sixth-grade bullying. Here are some quotes:
"It disturbs me greatly that I have attended almost all Cottage Grove PTO
fundraisers, etc... and the money that I have donated is being used to work
against me having a voice or even being informed of the issues. I believe that
the money raised by the Cottage Grove PTO could be used in better ways to help
the children, and if any more money is being used to promote this anonymous
email list, I see no other option but to cease all donations of money to the
"How dare you take it upon yourself under the guise of 'community' to write
a message that openly creates an us versus them war. The only people who are
truly going to suffer with this battle are the students of the district. If you
are Community minded then act like it. Be creative, not destructive; offer
compromise, not confrontation; no attacks, just constructive dialogue."
And the response from the MGSD.Community, normally quite prolific in their correspondence to the select few? Strangely, suspiciously, uncharacteristically silent. Nothing. Zilch. Nada. Why? I spend quite a lot of my time on my blog, trying to increase district communication and parent involvement for all sides of every issue. You know my name, where I live, who my children are, the fact that I have a ridiculously adorable chihuahua, that I'm obsessed with Star Trek and that I love tacos. My address is 4718 Tonyawatha Trail. My phone number is 249-7536, not that anonymous posters ever call me because I don't have an identity blocker or a voice scrambler installed on my line, alas. I am just a pleasantly normal person who is willing to stand up publicly for what I believe to be right. Agree, disagree, love me, hate me, question my fashion sense, tell my kids I suck, whatever. All my cards are on the table. I've got nothing up my sleeve.
MGSD.Community, who are you? You will endorse political candidates. You will put your email link on "Get Out The Vote" literature using PTO funds. You will send out informative missives to only those who pass the secret test. You lambaste certain Board members. You provide analysis-by-zip-code of our tax contributions. All under the banner of caring for our school district. "MGSD.Community Cares About Our Schools"? I disagree. You are contributing immensely to the division that this district suffers under. You are polarizing our taxpayers. You are alienating our parents. You are drawing precious energy away from the important issues at hand. You will not publicly walk the walk, but you're long on talking the talk. I ran for the Board of Education with the honest desire to help heal this district. You continue to pick at the scabs. How can this district come together to genuinely confront the seemingly insurmountable issues that face us financially, academically, racially and socially while you continue to sit back and stir the pot? This is a school district of two equally valuable, equally important and equally worthwhile communities that need to work together. For shame, MGSD.Community, you do not speak for the vast majority of us. Where is the "community" in that?
And I know that some will wonder why I am pursuing these questions, before you even get started with the
"Gee, Jessica, why are you picking on the MGSD.Community? Why aren't you picking on the Monona Rag? I cry foul! Why are you so unfair? Why are you biased? There's a conspiracy afoot! You're mean! Mean people suck!"
The reasons why I'm not picking on the Monona Rag are very simple:
- I'm not picking on anyone. I'm asking questions that I am only growing increasingly more curious about the longer they go unanswered.
- The Monona Rag doesn't send home their blog address in half of our district's elementary students' backpacks on paper that was paid for by the Cottage Grove PTO.
- The Monona Rag doesn't lit-drop half of the school district with literature paid for by the Cottage Grove PTO.
- The Monona Rag doesn't refuse to publish my comments and also won't kick me off their blog when I ask questions about their identity.
- That being said, listen up Monona Rag! If you're going write a fashion review of the School Board meetings, you need to include the shoes! For those of us who are willing to rock the four inch stillettos while seven months pregnant, you'd better recognize! And what's up with your fixation on the Wiz?
So MGSD.Community, 'fess up. Who are you? Is your email list derived from the PTO email list? What is your association with the Cottage Grove PTO? Why are you using PTO funds to promote a political agenda? If you are truly all about caring for our schools, let's work together. For the betterment of all of the Monona Grove School District, not just where you live. And if that's not what you had in mind, do all of us uncool non-cheerleading, dorky-jeans-wearing kids a favor and change your email group name to the SpecialInterestOnlyByInvitationForOnly SomeOfTheTaxpayersForOnlySomeOfTheSchoolsForOnlySomeOfTheTimeAndOnlyIfIAgreeWithYou.Community.com. So then we'll all know where you stand.