We’re all students here at Texas State because we applied, were accepted and somehow found the means to afford attending. We chose this college for various different reasons. However, there was no requirement stating we had to live within a certain proximity to the campus to do so.
We were fortunate to choose what college we wished to attend. Young students in primary and secondary schools, with the guidance of their parents, should be allotted the same choice. If a family cannot afford to buy a home in an area with a great school district, but is willing to provide the means for their child to get a good education, we should support their choice wholeheartedly.
Critics of school choice argue too many teachers would lose their jobs when students no longer choose to attend some schools. To this I say – what are the teachers doing wrong to make the school worth leaving?
There is a popular idea that teachers in schools with low ratings are valiant because they understand at least the kids they teach are in school rather than being involved in gang violence or at home influenced by parents, who often do not provide the best role models. These teachers refuse to give consequences for violent behavior in order to keep students in school where there is at least a positive influence.
Unfortunately, this logic does more harm than good. Even with the best of intentions, leniency surrounding violent students tends to create a negative environment of fear for their peers who are there to learn and put in the necessary work to pull themselves out of whatever situation they find themselves in. In fact, some teachers hoping to make a difference in their students’ lives have to leave these schools because they no longer feel safe.
Some parents would rather have peace of mind in knowing their child goes to a school that will not tolerate violent behavior and shapes them into individuals who work for their grades and respect others. If a person wants to take their child to a school that will provide discipline and provide a good education, we should absolutely support their decision.
We do have charter schools which help students in similar ways, but why should a parent have to pay extra money and put their child on a waiting list to make sure they get a proper education? Why should families without the financial means to live in a better school district be forced to have lesser education programs? The answer is simple – they should not.
We at the collegiate level have been fortunate enough to choose which college was right for us. Imagine a world where we, alongside our parents, decide which primary and secondary schools best fit our needs. I call on readers to understand how beneficial school choice is, how liberating it is and how, as a society who fights for the freedom and right of choice, we should not allow the government to tell us we cannot let our children attend better schools because they do not live in the right zip code.
— Nellie Perry is a journalism sophomore