As a parent, we've all felt that feeling of pride with a bit of trepidation as our son or daughter walks toward the door of the school for the first time, ready to enter the school culture that will be a part of their life for the next 10, 12 years or so.
A school culture that will feed them (nutritionally you hope), teach them, mend your kid's scrapes and cuts, teach them how to walk through life, and hopefully protect them so you can, with a sense of peace, walk away to earn a living.
But sadly, that culture in the Taos school system has turned into an environment of cronyism, fear of bullying and being bullied. And, the bullying apparently is being delivered not just by fellow students, but by teachers and administrators that we have all come to rely on and trust and look up to. Sadly, it is an environment from an administration that refuses to admit bullying exists and is not even willing to do anything about it.
What that all adds up to is that our children are afraid to go to class. Parents are having to pull their children out of school to find a safer environment, or worse yet, children are just plain dropping out. What does it say for the city and county of Taos? It says, people – it's time for a change! Even if change means from the top to the bottom.
A great philosopher once wrote that change begins with the man or woman in the mirror. Taos, can you honestly look at yourself in that mirror and say, "Oh, it's OK"? Can you honestly look at the bruised, battered, humiliated, scared face of your son or daughter and say, "Oh, it's OK"? The real question here is, how much longer can you turn a blind eye?
Taos, this means you.
Edward Rivera, Ranchos de Taos