Parents coming to the rescue of a couple of clubs at Riverside-Brookfield High School is certainly a positive thing for the students who have participated and want to participate in those activities.
In recent months, parents involved in both the math and the art clubs raised more than $5,000 to fund hiring moderators for the groups. The moderators are enthusiastic about giving kids the opportunity to pursue what they love and the students are grateful for the chance.
While all of that is positive and we have nothing but admiration for the parents and moderators who stepped in to close the gap, the whole situation seems too fragile to be a long-term solution.
It does create what science teacher Dave Monti rightly calls a situation where you end up with a world of haves and have nots. Where one club might have involved parents with deep pockets, another might not. Where one club may be easy to find a moderator for, it might not be so easy for another club.
There has been some criticism, fueled by rumor mostly, related to RB teachers’ unwillingness to step in and serve as moderators for the clubs that do get funded via parental fundraising. But it’s tough for them, too, because it creates the same have-and-have-not situation.
It would be easy if these things happened in a vacuum, where the actions of one group don’t affect anyone outside the group. But the truth is that nothing, especially nothing in a high school, happens in a vacuum. Relationships between students and teachers, parents and teachers and teachers and teachers are complex.
Fairness has to be the overriding goal, and it doesn’t seem that the existing set-up allows for fairness to flourish.
Again, that takes compromise on everyone’s part – to make sure what the school offers is as fair as possible to as many people as possible. In the long run, the current solution doesn’t seem to be it.