YU: Greenwich Parents – Let’s Set the Record Straight!

Letter submitted by Katie Yu, Greenwich

Like many in town, I have done my fair share of volunteering at the PTA level. In a town as diverse and large as ours, the options are limitless. I recall the first time I volunteered at my son’s fall fundraiser. The camaraderie and wholesome nature of helping out your child’s school,
while interacting with smart, energetic parents is addictive.

In a short time, I found myself on the school’s PTA Executive Board, the Greenwich PTA Council, and later as President of my eldest son’s middle school PTA. Each time I had the pleasure of interacting with families from all walks of life with, of course, with one common thread — enhancing their childrens’ educational experience, and childhood.

I have sat in countless GPS district meetings and PTA roundabouts, and listened to parents share their vision for our community, and there is always one thing that comes to mind – our town has a staggering number of smart, articulate, and creative minds!

This last Monday, I joined a record number of parents on the RTM call (many of whom are involved in the PTA) to hear the fate of efforts to restore funding to our public schools.

As I listened to several of the opponents of the education resolution SOMR to appropriately fund the schools, a certain theme seemed to emerge – our PTAs and families in town have been “activated”, “weaponized”, “scripted”, “stir crazy”, “hysterical”, and “over emotional”.

This characterization is not only offensive, but it implies a level of feeblemindedness and ability to be easily influenced that I have never witnessed in this town.

Over the 10+ years that I have lived in Greenwich, I have advocated and fought for our schools in many ways. I have never minded the time commitment because I believe that education is one of the few entities in our society that ensures opportunity for all. I have been inspired and
impressed by those with whom I continue to work side by side. And I can say without reservation that our town has an amazing cadre of families who would never allow themselves to be characterized this way.

In response to these allegations, I would ask, what town views families that are vested in education in such a derogatory way? What type of town views activism and public discourse this way? And to those who were described this way, how do you feel about being characterized and represented in this way?

The Fiscal Doomsday Squad may have won this round. But they need to know that a large number of families in this town just became educated very quickly.

As certain members of the RTM and BET continue in their blind march to steamroll an inadequate and crippling budget through a series of arcane and tilted procedural maneuvers. They should know that these many voices in our town will continue to be unified and anything but scripted in its response to this travesty.