Glazed Over

I attended the Bay Village School Board meeting on June 28 and left feeling a bit glazed over. I don’t know that I felt good, but not completely bad either about the information presented. Many people took turns at the microphone expressing themselves about their experiences with the Bay Schools. Some good and some concerned. Several used the microphone to describe their interpretation of what was being said at the meeting and ask questions. Some met with applause, and some met with negative rumbles from the crowd. There was definitely an elephant in the room called equity and critical race theory.

The topics brought a good-sized crowd of concerned citizens to the meeting. Some attendees didn’t have children in the Bay Schools. They attended to see what was going on and if our schools were in jeopardy. Our schools are an essential part of our community. They are the reason that many people move to Bay Village. We have great schools, programs and teachers.   

Here is what concerned me. The school board had contracted with a consultant to conduct an audit through a grant. The company surveyed school staff members and rated Bay Village in several areas, including our acceptance of change and equity. Though we received several positive scores, our acceptance of change was much lower than in other categories and was presented as a concern.  

Bay Village is not about change. The rest of the world may be, but Bay Village is about traditions, family values and kindness. Our town is 5 miles long by 1 mile wide, and we have schools and churches every several blocks. Many of us have children who go to the same schools that we attended and sit in the same churches we sat in as children. Bay Village is about tradition, and we work hard to protect it.  

We are a community that knows our neighbors, and we look out for each other. We ride bikes and have picnics. We talk to each other, sometimes in the street while people drive around us, with no problem. We have block parties and bonfires. We bring in each other’s garbage cans. Our seniors drive slowly. We deal with it because we know that’s someone’s mom or dad, and it could be ours. We sit in coffee shops and barbershops and visit. We know our pharmacists, bank tellers and principals. We enjoy ice cream parlors, farmers markets and an occasional parade. We have sledding hills and tennis courts, baseball fields and a skate park.

We are a sleepy little wholesome town that values safety and humanity, and people like it this way. Yes, we are cautious of change, and when it comes in, we hesitate. We don’t want to be sidetracked or hijacked in the name of progress.

Colleen Harding

President of The Cleveland School of Etiquette and Corporate Protocol.   I am a member St Raphael Women's Guild, Friends of the Westside Catholic Center and The Avon Oaks Women's Golf Association.

I live in Bay Village with my husband and 3 children.   

Read More on Readers' Opinions
Volume 13, Issue 13, Posted 10:29 AM, 07.06.2021