Can You Relate?
True to form, and much to their credit, the writers of the Simpsons have squared off against one of today’s prevailing social crises, education in our public schools. In this episode, Marg, desperately in need of a restroom, uses one at the local school. By chance, and to her chagrin, she observes overcrowded classrooms, apathetic teachers, and deteriorating facilities. However, another Simpson adventure ensues when Marg and Homer discover that to ameliorate their situation, they must acquire the “proper” address for Bart and Lisa to attend a better school in the district.
Many of the situations depicted in this episode ring true with me. Albeit exaggerated, they are for the most part accurate. For example, random visitations, called “bed check,” do take place in some districts. At the beginning of every school year, a school official, not quite like Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men, makes random house visits to confirm that your child lives in the district. I know this to be true because we had such a visit one evening four years ago. My family moved to South Pasadena, CA six years ago to have access to good public schools. We didn’t rent a 10’ x 10’ apartment as Homer did, but moved from a home we loved, to be in a town that takes pride in its schools, and where our children could grow up, be well, and thrive. So, the satirical representation of public schools in “Waverly Hills 9021-D’oh” isn’t a stretch for many middle and lower middle income families for whom private schools is not an option.
Parents with school-aged children, or anyone who values the importance of a quality public school system, will appreciate this snapshot of our present-day culture. Enjoy!
p.s., comments from my reader(s) is (are) appreciated.