– Ramya Ramakrishnan
I have read that adversity and dissent can serve as fuel for success, but it is only on Sunday, June 25th that I actually witnessed this happen. An energetic team of over sixty people, all committed residents of Dublin, gathered at the intersection of Dublin Blvd. and Tassajara, for the fourth consecutive weekend rallying peacefully but rather loudly. Carrying signs, banners, and a tiny bullhorn, they crossed this busy intersection with their children, parents, friends, and neighbors, alerting their community members to many of the important issues plaguing their beloved city that they moved to, mainly for a great educational experience for their children.
There were a few things remarkable about this particular rally. One of the organizers, while trying to spread the word and inform community members about their plans, was scorned and criticized on social media, sadly by a handful of community members, who tried to make a mockery of the whole team effort. Detrimental energy is still energy and can be used as fuel and that is exactly what the team leads and the resilient parents chose to do. Ignoring pessimistic comments and the contemptuous language they had to put up with, they carried on with full vigor what they believed would be one of the many paths that would lead them to the ultimate goal – a comprehensive high school on the eastern side. What else was incredible this time around was the fact that several children joined the rally and chanted slogans with such impressive enthusiasm that many drivers drove back and forth on the same road repeatedly, smiling, waving and honking loudly, encouraging them to continue what they were doing. Even a fire truck driver honked and waved while passing through the intersection at these kids, making them erupt into an excited cheer. Positivity and enthusiasm are infectious and when you combine this with belief and commitment, you have a formula for success. The team was rewarded by a surprise visit from a school board member who stopped by to chat, answer questions and appreciate them for their efforts.
Among the many new people who joined the team, were a few parents whose kids were already in college or high school and who had nothing to gain personally from the outcome of this effort. When I asked one such person what made him come out and support this movement, he said that he wanted to participate to be there for his community and to show that he cared about the educational future of all the kids, not just his own! It is this altruism that makes many of us carry on, amidst brief moments of doubt. Our tenacity is irrevocable, our momentum is gaining strength and our vision keeps getting more focused by the day. Our message to the school board is this – while we remain cautiously optimistic about some of the recent developments in the recent board meeting, we want to say that words are meaningless without intent and follow through, so please keep your word to the community. We truly want to work with you, not against you as long as we share the same goals and vision for our children and their education.