(The students also said that the minority numbers are so low that many parents won't consider Center School. This is very akin to what minority parents have expressed about APP. They don't want their child to be the only minority child in the classroom.)
One question I do have is how this class continued on - for years and under different principals - and if there were problems in the past. That hasn't been addressed and yet if there had been even a volume of complaints, you would have thought it would have been altered or even shut down by now.
But on the heels of this comes a fundraiser at Catherine Blaine K-8. I sat on this story for 24 hours because I wasn't sure if it merited a mention. But frankly, anyone who has been in this district for awhile knows there's a divide between north and south and it is not just a racial one.
We also all know that, depending on your neighborhood, your PTA may raise hundreds, thousands or even hundreds of thousands. That has a huge impact on your school and what enrichment gets to be offered. (But let's not even start on the fact that PTAs don't even get to fund as much enrichment as they used to because they are trying to backfill basic dollars cut by the district.)
I will say upfront - bless each and every person who helps their public school. It matters and I know it is appreciated by every single school.
But to get to Blaine, well, I'll let the Stranger Slog tell this tale:
We've been getting outraged tips this week about an item in Magnolia-area public school Catharine Blaine K–8's school fundraiser auction this year. In among the "VIP Parking Spot" and "Kindergarten Movie Night" items, there's one that stands out:
THE FIRST ANNUAL WHITE TRASH TEAWe e-mailed the PTA to ask if they were mocking the poor, as our tippers said, and they sent us a statement: "This event has, in fact, been pulled from the auction... There was never an intent to mock, as you say, any specific class of people, and as soon as there was concern from a parent, the event was pulled." They point out that it was never in any materials distributed to students, only parents, and that it was aimed only at adults. They also point out the truth: "Our PTA Board and Auction Coordinators are all parent volunteers who have worked tirelessly this year to raise the funds to gap the shortfall in both the money we receive from the district and the state."
We’re not in the 98199 anymore! Here's your chance to experience the "other side of the tracks" at Blaine’s First Annual White Trash Tea! Grab your trashiest girlfriends to sample the finest in Crock Pot cuisine, Twinkie trifle, a variety of fun cocktails and, of course, teas. Everything will be served on plates from Safeway's "Bonus with Purchase" collection, natch. The tea will be hosted at the not-so-trashy [name of place redacted], located on Capitol Hill.
Cost: $40 per person
Limitations: Up to 14 people
Did you gasp or shake your head? Because I did both.
I remember at Whittier we had the auction for the front row seats for school performances and Blaine has one for parking. I don't have an issue with that one.
But what makes the "Tea" so offensive is that someone thought this funny and others agreed it was a good idea.
"We're not in the 98199"? "other side of the tracks"? "trashiest"? "crockpot cuisine" (Amazingly, many Slog readers really wanted to know what a "Twinkie trifle is.) And, "the first annual"?
No intent to mock? Sorry, but NO ONE is going to buy that. And if no parent had had the courage to say something, it would have been part of the auction, right? And does it matter that it only went to parents? (And what's up with the crockpot reference? Many people use a crockpot - hell, Betty Draper on Mad Men uses one.)
I recall a fundraiser at a north-end school (that will remain nameless) where the tickets were $250...each. Naturally, that left out large numbers of parents who could not possibly afford that amount. But the parents who could said, well, we are raising money for all the kids, so what?
Well, it's a school-wide event, that's what. I remember at Whittier arguing over $30 per couple versus $20 because we wanted as many parents to be able to attend as possible. We thought we were being exclusionary if we went higher.
Is fundraising a no-holds barred activity?
Does anything go as long as the money being raised is for a good cause?