Diva Versus the Board of Education


The members of Board of Education nodded their heads in unison as if prompted by ventriloquists, while we took turns making our remarks. That only seven parents out of a school with 300 students showed up did not help our cause.  Perhaps I expected too much from people.  It was "American Idol"  night after all, and after a long day at work, people needed to catch up on the Important Things!  Like playing Words with Friends! And Farmville!  

Despite our pleas, the forced resignation of our school's highly respected, untenured principal was accepted. He was the casualty of politics, personnel shuffling, and all of the things that make the business of running a school district unsavory.

After the meeting, I decided to be brazen, interrupt people's Farmville time, and ask parents to write letters.  The Board had made up their mind,  yet it was important for them to see that we would not take their decision lying down.  We were "Concerned Parents." We were watching.         

Many parents responded with enthusiasm.  They wrote letters.  They asked their friends to write letters.  Others declined.  Other ignored. 

As I spoke to parents, some were taken aback by my demonstrative stance.  I was forceful.  I was brash.  I wasn't behaving like a Fierce Diva.

Sometimes being a Fierce Diva does not get the job done, especially with the Board of Education or other red tape institutions. 

In these select and special instances, forget about being a Fierce Diva. You will need to become a crazymotherfucker.

You know me, Divas.  I'm no helicopter parent.  I don't jump in front of my children to protect them from every potential, random, imaginary harm.    However, when it comes to the "big issues," the ones where they actually need protection, such as their health, their safety, or their schooling,  I will be the first one to open my mouth.   

Not only am I not afraid of the Board knowing I'm a crazymotherfucker, I want them to know.  I want them to fully understand that I am the mom who will organize letter writing campaigns and stage protests.  Throw me in jail! I don't care.  I've been there before, as you know.  I want them to know that I am the mom who will call the local newspapers, "Seven on Your Side,"  and Michelle Rhee, former Chancellor of the Washington D.C.  Public Schools, the Ultimate Fierce Diva AND crazymotherfucker, to come up here and straighten out their asses.  Oooooh, I'd like to see them try to fuck with her.   

It's best not to act like a crazymotherfucker alone.  The more crazymotherfuckers you can round up, the better. My guess is that if 300 parents had shown up for that Board of Education meeting instead of staying home for "American Idol," and we had all acted like crazymotherfuckers, maybe the Board would have made a concession.  Perhaps they would have held one of their closed "emergency sessions" to reevaluate the resignation of our principal.

Although it's best not to act alone as a crazymotherfucker, someone has to be the first.  When a cause hits your town that you believe in and that requires someone to rock the boat, perhaps you will be the one who leads the crusade.  When you ask others to join in, some may refuse. They may tell you that the issue has no impact on them.  But it does.  Everything that happens in this world affects all of us, whether we realize it or not.  When you begin to realize it's not about "you" and that it's actually about "us," then you have truly become a Fierce Diva.

Namaste, Divas!


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*This is a post from last year that I am "recycling" for Adrienne's "Going Green" link up! 




Diva Versus the Board of Education — 35 Comments

  1. I’m a crazymotherfucker all the time. I am incapable of watching an injustice without taking action. Which is how I have wound up spending my extra time for the last week writing grants for the ballet. Because I’m pissed off by the lack of funding. I’ll also be taking a marketing class soon. Ugh.

  2. I strongly disagree. I think being a Fierce Diva also means standing up for what is right especially when it ultimately concerns your children. When I was younger my mom was a member of Mothers on the Move (MOM?) and she would take all types of action and radical stances in the community. It was amazing to grow up and see. Especially as a little girl.

  3. OK, but this is also what I love about you. Not only are you outspoken (LOVE) but you go into action (LOVE EVEN MORE). I have a few ongoing causes that I will fight to the death for – like the animal rescue thing – and if I ever need grant writing help with that, I now know where to turn. xo

  4. Mo, I 100% get what you are saying, and perhaps I should clarify, that I do strongly believe in fighting for what I believe in. I think for me, the difference between being a Fierce Diva and crazymotherfucker was letting go of my poise and fighting scrappy with my fists up. Does that make any sense? But yes, I will always fight. I would love your mother by the way. What an awesome role model! xo

  5. Thanks for the heads up on the language. 🙂
    You go, girl! Stand up for what’s right. It’s a great lesson for your kids. I am with you in spirit!!
    However, fighting with the school district… Big sigh…
    I could never round up the parents to go to the meetings either. Inevitably, months later when a decision kicked into place, those same parents would express such surprise and anger, especially if they had been misled into believing they wouldn’t be affected.
    I even had parents tell me that they were just trying to keep their heads down and out of the firing line until their kids were out of high school, because they didn’t want the teachers to punish the kids for the parents speaking out.
    While there are many good teachers, they system is incredibly broken and needs to be completely dismantled and rebuilt for this century and the needs of individuals and businesses.
    I’ll just get off my soapbox now, otherwise I’ll be ranting here until next week. :-

  6. So funny that we both recycled posts about education today. We must be on the same page. I love this post and all I have to say is that when things go south over here, I want you on my side fighting the good fight!

  7. You can rant on my blog any time you want to, Kim. I love when you are around! There are times I keep my head down – because the issue is not worth the fight for me – but if the issue is worth the fight, I will fight – and I will fight “crazy.” And yes, fighting with a school district does call for a big *sigh.*

  8. So I went through ALMOST all of the link ups at Adrienne’s place and was getting pulled this way and that by the kids and thought- “ah hell…I will just miss that last one, what the big deal if I don’t get to them all”…then managed to get back on and go for it… to FIND THIS!!!!! I am so SO freaking glad I came back and caught this one!!! You had me at: “You will need to become a crazymotherfucker.” Oh I just LOVE this post Ilene!!! It got me all jacked up!! Fight hard and fight ugly for anything you believe in! I would have missed American Idol for it, and showed up with my CRAZYMOTHERFUCKER on TO JOIN YOU!!! (Wow- never said that on line before.) See? You got me all JACKED UP!! And that’s saying a lot! LOL

  9. Oh my gosh, Chris, I am laughing almost or maybe just as hard as when I read your Snow Day post! This is the BEST EVER comment and I feel a little complimented that you dropped your first online F bomb on MY blog! And I thank you for offering to skip American Idol to go fight the good fight with me. Rest assured, I’d do the same for you. xo

  10. Part of the reason I started blogging about giving is due to my experience in the nonprofit world asking for help – not just money, but voices – and hearing crickets. it’s rare for people to stand up and act. We need more crazymotherfuckers in the world.
    Also, thanks for giving us all a reason to type crazymotherfuckers.

  11. I think there needs to be a seed of crazymotherfucker in every Fierce Diva. You never know when you’re going to need it.
    You’re like Ren McCormack, on Footloose!
    Remember, Ren lost when he stood up to the establishment, but he still managed to move the needle. You’ve moved the needle, if even one parent now realizes they need to stop sleepwalking through their child’s education, no matter what must-see TV is on that night.
    You made a difference, you crazymotherfucker.

  12. Money is nice and every non profit needs it but voices are so important. I dont voice enough – even with my inner crazymotherfucker. I think for me, its a matter of my honoring the things that are most important to me by using that voice. And I LOVE that you use yours on your blog for social good. Its awesome.

  13. I agree that every Fierce Diva needs that seed – but I also think its a matter of knowing when to cultivate that seed. What baffles me about small town America is that I know a number of parents who would skip their must see TV to take someone else down, thanks to the petty politics that go with PTA, sports clubs, and school, but I dont see those same parents eager to fight for good. Or maybe in their minds they are fighting for good? Who knows? I think it all goes back to knowing when to pull out the inner crazymotherfucker and knowing when to let it lie dormant. Heres to moving the needle!

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