I love my house. It is an older home built in the 1910's and is situated on 2 city lots. For our family it is quite large and meets all of our needs. We've only had to do minimal remodelling so far on the inside. And it is very rare to have such a big yard living in the city limits.
Lately, my husband has been contemplating selling the house and moving out to one of the townships. I don't know what to do. He wants to move- and ironically- because he's worried about the school district. He is a teacher with the school district and so he sees first hand the type of students that roam the halls. Over the last few years, he's noticed that the attitude of students has changed dramatically. The trend to do good and excel in school has shifted. Before, the majority of the kids fell into the group that worked hard and did well. And the kids that just showed up and never did their work were in the minority. Now, that's reversed. It's cool to be the slacker and the number of kids that know the importance of doing well in school is becoming smaller and smaller.
It's hard to say why these children's attitudes have swayed. My husband says that when they first get to the school in 7th grade (he teaches 7th grade World Cultures), many of the kids still want to do well. But as they move on, he sees many kid's grades and attendance start falling. He also is seeing more and more violence in the school. He's fearful of what may happen and is certain there will be gun violence at some time in the next few years. He's gone to the administration, but hasn't seen any changes in the school or policies. The school he works in was built a few years ago, but they did not include metal detectors at the doors and with a student population of over 1000 from grades 7-12th, it is difficult to use a hand wand detector. We still don't know why they didn't invest in the detectors when building the school. The cost to build the school was over 7 million dollars and I can't see detectors breaking the budget.
Not only does my husband worry about ours kids heading up to his school, he's also concerned for himself as he has seen and pulled kids from the halls with weapons (mainly knives- large ones!). It's not a daily occurrence and has only happened a couple times in the past 3 years. Still you just never know when a child can decide to do harm in his/her school and it's in the news more and more frequently.
It shouldn't be hard for me to think about getting out of dodge, but not all of the other teachers, of whom are our friends feel the same way. They think my husband if over reacting- but is he? Is he just more aware of where the school is headed or is he jumping to conclusions? I know nothing has happened in our school and the neighboring schools may be dealing with similar or worse problems. It's just so hard to decide what to do when it comes to your family. The only way to insure nothing happens is to home school, but financially we need both incomes at the moment so it's not an option right now. Moving to another school district could be an answer but how do we know they aren't dealing with the same thing. Very few people outside of those who teach in the building truly know or care about how bad it is getting.
We go back and forth about staying or leaving, remodelling and siding the house or leaving it as is and selling. It's crazy. We both want to stay as we love the house and our kids have a great group of friends- for now at least. I just want to make the right decision for the safety and well being of my family and it's tough. My husband loves teaching and coaching the kids and tries so hard to reach out to them. He has also been looking forward to the day when our two are at his school and for Paige that's in just 3 yrs. But it's bittersweet as he is just sickened as to how his school- kids and administration- have just given up.
I guess we'll take it one day at a time. We have gotten some estimates for painting the house and are waiting for estimates on siding it as well. If we decide to move we don't want to put too much money into the home as housing is really doing poorly in the area and would need a lot more money for a down payment on a house in one of the nearby townships. Our mortgage is fairly small and the home was appraised a few years ago 40% higher than what we paid for, but it's hard to say if today's market would be the same. If it were to sell at the appraised cost we would have a substantial down payment and our mortgage would be similar to it currently even though the houses in the townships are double what we paid for originally.
Any suggestions??? Why can't we just all get along and live peacefully together? I want my kids to attend the same school district we did as there are some excellent teachers there still from when we graduated 20 yrs ago, but it just may not happen.