Reader Reactions to “The Problem No One Talks About”

The last two weeks have been a whirlwind of activity at the SEL Experience Project.  The articles written by Sally and Beth have opened up a lot of positive dialog.  The comments we received on social media were especially inspiring and motivating.  We wanted to share some of them here.  Best of all, no trolls had to be taken down to bring you this recap! This tells us that there is a strong foundation of support for our schools.  It’s our goal to take this spark and turn it into a roaring bonfire of community support for SEL Schools.  We can do it together!  Every conversation and interaction you have can help turn detractors into supporters.  Destination School Community?  Maybe not quite yet, but we’re getting there!

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“Dear Ms. Martin, Thank you for sharing such an honest and personal story. I’ve worked in service-learning at a local university and was deeply wounded by the perception embraced by many that schools with predominantly minority children was inferior, the children were inferior and the notion that minority children were synonymous with poverty, being unloved, and “ghetto”. It is many times difficult to break down those negative perceptions when you are a minority but I’m so glad you wrote this piece. Thank you.”

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“Proud mom of three Brush Graduates. My Son (a 2014 graduate) was very involved. He was in the. Brush Band, Jazz Band, Choir and Drama and AVID. He is an outstanding college student and works to better the city around his school (an economically struggling area). Brush provided many opportunities for my children.”

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Proud mom of two Brush graduates- it infuriated me when I heard derogatory, negative comments from ignorant people about the school. I have a nurse and a son about to graduate from JCU, by the way, thanks to Brush.”
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“Send your kids to our SEL schools!! There is no better way to support our schools and ensure the continued excellence of the educational experience for our community. Thank you Sally for your honesty and for setting an example. My daughter graduated from Brush and my grandchildren are flourishing at Memorial this year.”
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“Well written piece. Our children (a sophomore, 8th and 6th grader) are thriving in the SEL schools. In fact, I remember when we moved in 2011 FROM South Euclid TO ANOTHER house in South Euclid so many people were surprised that we didn’t make the jump to the Solons and Twinsburgs of the world. We stayed because we love the community and our kids are receiving a quality education.”
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“My oldest son has been in the district since kindergarten. He’s in 7th grade now. We did move for 2 years to mayfield but we decided to come back to south Euclid. My step daughter has been in this district since 4th grade and she is also in 7th. Our youngest will be going to kindergarten next year. We are very pleased with this district. My kids love going to school and love their school! They both are in honors classes and I believe are getting a great education. When at mayfield they got made fun of all the time. My son often asked if he could go back to Rowland. The kids here treat him so much better and he’s way happier. I love the teachers and everything about this district.”
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“As I’ve sat on the PTA scholarship committees for over 15 years and have interviewed the wonderful graduating seniors, I have consistently been impressed by the quality of students and opportunities available to them. One resounding and recurring theme is that the students appreciate the diversity that the district offers and how it prepares them to succeed and navigate the real world as they embark upon their post graduate pursuits.”
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“It is about time for this conversation to start.”
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“Excellent and honest article. I have seen this play out in many districts during the time I worked as as a real estate agent. I, too, live in South Euclid. I drive half an hour to take my kids to school in another district.
I would like to send them to SEL schools but I believed the naysayers.
I am open to giving them a try as my oldest boy approaches high school. But, before that happens I would like to spend a day at the school, observing classes in session.
Heights High had an open house for realtors back when their schools started experiencing the flight and it totally changed my perception of the school.”
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“Neighbors, I encourage you to visit the schools during the school day. Please don’t rely on here-say.”
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“I am so encouraged to see SEL families uniting! If those of us who believe in our schools actually speak up, a lot of the negative perceptions would be put to rest!! Visit our schools, talk to involved parents/community members and see for yourself.”
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“This is a great article and definitely needs to be printed in the Plain Dealer and on Cleveland. Com. We moved into the district in 2004 because of the diversity since we have mixed race kids. We loved it here and still do. I have noticed the lack of diversity in the schools and it saddens me. I assumed it was due to “white flight” as the inner city moved farther east but to hear the actual demographics of the city hasn’t actually changed much is alarming. When my daughters (now a senior and sophomore) were approaching Greenview age, I heard the rumors as well but we didn’t have the funds to choose a private school. Neither had any issues at Greenview or Memorial or even Brush other than normal teenage drama. It was all unfounded. To hear that white middle class parents aren’t even giving the schools a chance due to rumor is sad.”
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“Great read Sally Martin. Very well thought out and positioned. We live on one of the streets where many of us could have easily picked upped and moved to another community. Most of us conciously made the decision to stay in this district and have been so glad we did many times over. The thing that is somewhat troubling to me though, is I hear so many Brush graduates who are at the age of purchsing their first homes saying they would never think of buying here now. We need to somehow change that.”
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“Realtors, as well, need to stop insinuating that our schools are lacking.”
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“I love this article – I think we have good schools, even though my kids are grown, their kids attend SEL schools. My grandkids don’t see black and white – that is not a problem at all.”
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“My son goes to Brush and my daughter goes to Memorial. I wouldn’t think of sending them anywhere else!”
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“I completely relate to this. I have a whole story about buying a house in South Euclid and why we did and our experience with Adrian Elementary, Greenview, Memorial, and Brush. . I work in Mayfield with the public and i hear negative stuff about South Euclid and our schools way too often… it drives me crazy, and I am a very verbal and staunch supporter of South Euclid and our schools. Anytime, anywhere, for any reason, myself, my husband, and our children will always be ready and willing to speak up for our schools and community. .. i have so so much more to say about this subject!! “
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“This is an excellent article for a long overdue conversation on the issue. This is something that should be in the city magazine…verbatim.”
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“What is distressing is how little is said about our great Elementary Schools and the honors they’ve achieved. Multiple Governor’s awards as schools of promise, excellent state rankings that exceed that of our middle and high schools, and the dedicated teaching staff that have created an enriching and nourishing academic environment. While the focus had been on Memorial and Brush, the district and the community need to advance the successes at the lower elementary schools. It is there that we must capture student excitement for learning and create students that seek become successful not only today but tomorrow as well. My experience has shown me that working together for success breeds greater social interaction amongst cultures and benefits the community in innumerable ways. Thank you for your continued work with the South Euclid Experience Project and this thoughtful article.”
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“Well written piece. I appreciate your bringing this to the surface. My kids, too have had positive experiences in the schools yet I have seen a number of friends either avoid them all together and or flee to another suburb. Both boys (now 4th and 5th) have been in the district since K and have each had different and outstanding teachers almost every year.”
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“We moved to south euclid before our children started school. I personally have been bragging for years about the district. I have worked with inner city youth for years, and se-lynd schools are great. They are very organized and informative. The schools keep the parents involved, which is the reason I believe that any school system is successful. Honestly I chose this area based on its diversity. I regularly see children playing outside from all races. However when it is time for my kids to get on buses for school or walk I no longer see that. This articles explains the reasoning for that. My children have acquired many friends during the time that they have spent in the community. They go to these friends homes and they come to ours. I always wanted my children to experience the diversity that is closer to what the world looks like. I have two children at Brush, one at Greenview, and one at Adrian. We are also home owners. I guess it might have changed things for me too, if I had heard this story before I moved here. However since I have been able to see things first hand, I don’t see the schools as terrible, and its not because we are a low income family. simply because we are not. Lastly when we first purchased our home some of our neighbors came to introduce themselves to us. It made us feel good like maybe out of a movie! except for one family who is not happy we live near them. We dont even know why but we love the city, we love the schools, we love the community, the law enforcement, and firefighters. So maybe one day all our children can grow up together, we grow old together, and our city can continue to be a great place to live.”
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“Excellent article. We have 2 kids product of SEL schools, K-12, and have done well (a college graduate and one in college). I work at a local private University and can see SEL students compare with other districts and privates, and our students are on par or better in preparation and success (I figure a +90% graduation rate for SEL graduates).
In addition, the DIVERSITY our SEL students see prepare them for the future, which is becoming more diverse. This is highly important for our kids.”
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“I enjoyed the article very much. It’s too bad that Idaho can’t think of something like this to do in our state.”
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“I love the school district! I hear a lot of those rumors. I moved to south Euclid in 2009 since it was one of the best places to live. I still feel that way. I met the nicest people. The schools I feel are some of the best.”
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“Interesting that none of the rumor mongers are commenting here. You would think they would.”
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“Great article! I wish I’d not been so brainwashed when my child went thru private school. Maybe we would embraced the local system. Thank you Sally.”
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“I just shared the article about the new exercise facility and the increased course offerings in the health care field at Brush with my 7th grade daughters. They have been in Montessori school since they were 2 1/2 (where I work). They both want to know more about Brush and are excited about it.”
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“I’m happy someone is getting the conversation going on this subject. Having moved from the Shaker Heights school district, I have to admit that I was extremely nervous about moving outside of it. But boy am I glad we did it! My husband and I moved here in 2013 with 3 of our children, including an autistic child. Our son has high functioning autism (Aspergers) and was graduating from PEP (positive education program) which is an alternative school, after being placed there by the Shaker Heights district. He had been there for 3 years and we were fighting to get him back into public school full time, but shaker kept taking baby steps. Once I toured Greenview, I knew SEL district was the one for us. Within 2 months the teachers felt that our son was more than capable of attending full time and gave him a chance. He’s now a 7th grader at Memorial in regular education classes, he’s made the honor roll every year since greenview and he was on the cross country team in the fall. My point is, you can never judge a book by its cover or by other people’s perceptions. You have to experience things for yourself and draw your own conclusions from it. Our once antisocial little boy is now making friends and striving for excellence because he knows he has more people now than ever who are in his corner. Our oldest daughter is a kindergartener at Rowland (where I am the PTA Treasurer) and she has one of the best teachers ever! There is such a great sense of community here and I’m proud to be a resident of South Euclid. My mission is to make more people proud to be one too!”
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“My oldest son has been in the district since kindergarten. He’s in 7th grade now. We did move for 2 years to mayfield but we decided to come back to south Euclid. My step daughter has been in this district since 4th grade and she is also in 7th. Our youngest will be going to kindergarten next year. We are very pleased with this district. My kids love going to school and love their school! They both are in honors classes and I believe are getting a great education. When at mayfield they got made fun of all the time. My son often asked if he could go back to Rowland. The kids here treat him so much better and he’s way happier. I love the teachers and everything about this district. I will try and attend the meeting too.”
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“It’s a fabulous article, and I am sharing far and wide. I am the product of 13 schools- national and international; 3 high schools. My children also attended SHCS as well as independent schools. Supporting diversity in our neighborhoods will create peace at the very least.”

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