As a former Perrysburg student, I faced extreme difficulty in my own education (thanks to guidance counselors who wouldn’t acknowledge my neurodivergent disability and its impact on my ability to learn despite all the medical proof needed from my physicians). I didn’t get the help I needed (but – thank you Mr Duesing for encouraging me and advocating strongly for me and helping 4th grade me to believe in myself.) I also faced extreme bullying issues that went unresolved over a period of 3 years. At the point that the police were offering to my parents to escort me to/from my classes in high school to help protect me against students making serious physical threats…I decided I did not want to go to Perrysburg schools anymore. I was too academically behind to attend a private school (despite my continuing efforts to learn and my parent’s heavy involvement to aid this I was still behind!) and so I went to Penta. Best choice I ever made. Studied a random program to me just so I could change schools and ended up making friendships that have lasted more than a decade and rising to the top of my class because the administration and counselors immediately advocated for my disability to be acknowledged. Next thing I knew, I was acing honors classes and I was a student teacher for an upper-level math class when a teacher had surgery on her vocal cords. I gave a speech at graduation and at a state educational conference on the difference that educators can make when they connect and encourage a student’s education on a personal level. With help through college, I graduated despite nearly failing many Perrysburg classes. This whole experience left an incredibly bad taste in my mouth, but I still anticipated my children attending Perrysburg schools one day….

Until now. My daughter is entering 1st grade and she is incredibly brilliant, shows symptoms of my disability with no formal diagnosis, and an absolute treasure to those around her. After enrolling her in Perrysburg for kindergarten I unenrolled her later to have her attend a Toledo private school instead. I’ve followed the board closely for the past 5 years, and the board is not at all concerned with any actual education. How am I supposed to trust that this focus on social/emotional education will do anything for my child that I can’t do at home?? We talk about touchy topics at home, regularly. You know what we don’t do at home? Schoolwork. Why on earth is the school taking precious time out of the day to discuss LGBTQ+, race theories, and other hot topics??? I discuss those at home, as do all parents I know. Put the focus back on EDUCATION. And the school board needs to take a look at how many Perrysburg teachers are unhappy with their jobs right now…because that number is astronomically high, and it isn’t just the COVID comeback factors. Teachers are not getting the help they need. A Perrysburg classroom is the LAST place I could ever want my child right now…I just hope that one day Perrysburg is restored to become a more successful school system.