Bus Related Sorry

17 Sep

For those more interested in council stuff, sorry.  This is the response I received from my ‘complaint’ to Bluff School regarding the across the board decision to deny everyone permission to utilise the MOE buses to attended Year 7 and/or 8 in Invercargill.  I will reserve comment, for now, as I am currently so pissed (off) that I may speak out of turn.

Below is what I sent to them.  Sorry about the typos and grammatical errors.  I accidentally sent the wrong one (draft not final…duh me)

Bluff School Board of Trustees

Many parents, and wider community, will appreciate the situation schools have been placed in by the MOE.  While we may not support the  changes the MOE have made, without consultation, in relation to ‘ineligible students’, we can still make the necessary choices for our  children.
For many years Bluff parents have been making those choices.  The financial aspects of Year 7 and 8 children attending school in Invercargill  are significant for many already struggling families.  As parents we weigh up the increased costs on the family against the benefits the  student receives.  The cost of uniforms ($300+) and bus travel ($400 p.a) are deemed workable for many families given the increased  opportunities their children receive.  This situation has not cast a negative light on the education Bluff School provides nor has it shown to  have a detrimental effect on Bluff School.    The Board of Bluff School have taken away our ability to make the decision.  The Parent  Representatives will be well aware that most (if not all) parents cannot financially and/or logistically drive their children to school in  Invercargill and collect them five days a week.  Some more affluent parents may be able to weigh up the time and money and agree to drive  their child.  Bluff School’s decision has penalised the less affluent and limited their choices.
The financial implications are based solely on Bluff School’s ‘across the board’ decision to say NO to all requests to use the Ministry buses.

I do not agree that a Bluff school can provide the necessary opportunities for our Year 7 and 8 children.  The decision to go to Invercargill for the intermediate years is based on so much more than education or resources.  Given most Invercargill primary schools only go up to Year 6,  the Invercargill children are gaining acceptance to the high school of their choice well before Bluff children.  The Year 7 and 8 children  attending in Invercargill are forming relationships that can last throughout high school.  It will be harder for Year 9 Bluff children to be  included in social groups when all other members have already spent two years together.  Those able to attend during Year 7 and 8 will   miss out as the bus trip to Invercargill is a social environment as well.  Our kids will miss out if driven to Invercargill by parents. The general  comraderie of being with their peers cannot be ignored.

The aspects I have outlined could be expressed by any Bluff parent.  When you consider this is being imposed on me as a parent who does  not have a child attending Bluff School, it is an affront to me as a parent.  Morally it is wrong to deny people their right to choose and  possibly illegal to allow choices to only those who can afford it.  Your decision (not the Ministry of Education’s) has taken away my right to  choose.  

I have two children attending St Teresa’s School (Bluff) and I can assure you that Bluff School is not an ‘affected school’.  I intend to send my  children at Year 7 to Invercargill.  I may not choose to send them to Verdon but your decision means I must, or stay in Bluff.  I cannot afford  to drive them.   I will not send my children to Bluff School to ‘serve out their sentence’.  The Ministry may have catergorised you as ‘affected’  but in reality you are not.  I have no ability to vote for the Bluff School trustees.  I do not attend but your organisation believes you can make  this decision.  I suggest the Board reconsider its decision making process as the impact of this decision is having negative effects on Bluff  School, Bluff children, and Bluff.

I seek, from the Board, the reason this decision was made and ultimately, a withdrawal of the decision to deny all requests for ‘permission’.   One would expect the Boardwill assess all requests for ‘permission’ on a ‘case by case’ basis.  I believe it is important that Bluff School outlines to parents that are declined an explanation of how the school is affected by that child leaving.  

I look forward to your response.

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