Perhaps the Gentle Reader does not recall, or perhaps they were not a reader of these chronicles, when back in 2008 I mentioned that by complete chance, the first apartment we hired in Halifax happened to be at the end of a long row of stately mansions and castles- beautiful, costly, ostentatious buildings which inspired envy in the Princess and loathing in thenewcomer.
A consequence of this random location was that the princess ended up in school with the children who live in those houses, and became friends with them.
Yes, I supposes the Gentle Reader will have no trouble guessing where this post is heading.
To her credit, the Princess doesn’t obsess about material possessions. Walmart, the great equalizer, insures that we have enough cheap and pretty clothes and accessories so that she never “looks” from a different economic class- although a recent Lululemon frenzy was a bit hard to navigate ($60 for a pair of girl’s shorts? Really?). But some of those friends have now began talking going off to “Grammar School” once primary years are over- apparently some Rich people don’t mind their children rolling around in public school mud for the first few years, before whisking them off out sight behind the $20,000-a-year walls of private schools when the real hard graft begins.
A wonderful public school teacher told me recently, metaphorically banging her fist on the table, that there are 6 private schools concentrated in a tiny area in Halifax alone. If the all the parents who send their kids to these schools would send them to public schools, the demand for quality education would rise, forcing government funding into public schools (where it is now being cut), lifting the quality of education for all. But will evil Rich People do that? No. Further reinforcing class divisions, envy, bitterness and mediocrity, they segregate their darling offspring behind the walls of private schools- why? Don’t bother to explain. There cannot be one single convincing reason, other than snobbishness and the desire to have as little to do as possible with people from a lower order.
So, after asking to go to Grammar School with “Mary Sue”, my Princess got her first lesson on the inherent evil of the Rich. “I am not saying “Mary Sue” is bad for going to Halifax Grammar School next year, Princess, but yes, you have to understand her parents are making a socially bad decision. That’s what Miss Smith, your own teacher says too. Even if we had the money to send you there, I never would.”
The princess didn’t argue back. It’s going to be a long fight. But worth it. In every sense of the phrase.