and emails keep pouring in about parents desperate to figure out a
public school option for their children, only to have to go with
private schools or a backup plan.
Read below for one parent's story about what happened to her
daughter at Edison, and keep writing in with your experiences and
questions about the challenges Chicago faces for parents.
My daughter was admitted to Edison Gifted in 19XX.
After a month and a half we decided to take her out. We returned her to the pre-primary school where she had started from since age 2 and a half. A little girl in her Edison classroom had molested her repeatedly and when we tried on several occasions to protect our daughter, the administration just did not get it. The other little girl it turns out was being molested by her mother's boyfriend. They lived in our neighborhood and the boyfriend started calling my daughter on the phone. It was very scarey especially when my husband and I went to the police (I was afraid to let her play out in the yard) and the school would not own up to any problems with the children.
I was getting my master's at the time and my professor suggested a therapist for me who specifically worked with educators. My daughter throughout her childhood had therapy when she needed it (understanding what had happened at Edison, our divorce when she was ten years old, teenage angst, etc.) She has incredible communication skills probably because I wasn't going to let her out there alone in the world if she needed to talk through something.
Anyway, after my child returned to [her original school], my husband, my therapist and I met with the District Superintendent and a CPS child psychologist he brought with him and they apologized. I never sued. Edison at the time had teachers who were hired for their content knowledge and not for their understanding of developmental issues with small children. I actually liked her teacher and feel she didn't get the support she needed to handle the situation. I also realize that our experience with Chicago Public Schools is uncommon.
All worked out exceptionally well for my daughter. I concentrated on raising my child and doing a good job as a teacher taking care of other people's children, grateful that Near North was taking good care of mine. My daughter's father made a good living and with encouragement, he paid his part for her education. She went to [her original school] then XX high school and finally XX University. I am very proud of her.
I read the Lottery article and all of these memories flooded over me. I was so torn at the time because we had to decide whether to take her out of the school or insist that the other child be removed. I decided the other child IDENTIFIYING DETAIILS REMOVED would get lost without the opportunity Edison afforded her (and her mother) and my husband just wanted us to get our daughter out of there. Edison, from what I heard over the years, took very good care of the other child and she graduated. And Montessori gave her an environment where she could grow at her own pace and express herself in her own unique style. Because I'm a SCHOOL NAME parent I'm not sure about public gifted education but that's another story.
I learned through this experience how important schools are to children and their families and that I have an important responsibility to do my best as a parent and a teacher. I keep working at it.