Our children aren’t stupid. They know something is wrong. They can see that their parents are upset, they know that Mom is going to meetings. They hear things at school. I think it’s better to be open with them, so that they aren’t blindsided if we fail. I told my son that there was a chance that his school would close. I explained to him that we were going to fight it and do everything we could to save it, and that if we did not succeed, we would find him another great school to go to.

I know my son, and I know that’s the best way to handle a situation like this with him. If he was a different type of child, I might have tried to shield him from it. If we would have had to find another school, we’d have been going with a charter.

The school board realized that the list actually contained high-performing schools, with communities that wouldn’t just sit back and shut up.

Erin Brown lives in Oak Park.

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