I think as human beings, we appreciate black and white clarity in regards to important circumstances. We don’t like gray so much. We don’t want to believe that there is more to something than meets the eye especially when it confuses us and muddles the clear cut answers we depend on.
Recently there have been two articles in The News Leader highlighting concerns at Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind. The headlines to those articles alone set a tone for the readers. It is important for state agencies, and especially those charged with the care and education of children, to be held in high accountability. And all educational systems have their own unique struggles. VSDB is no different in this vein. However, life grows much more complex when an organization functions as both a school and a state agency.
As the news articles have reported concerns that seem rather straightforward, it is always prudent to ask how and why such concerns are in place. These articles were produced from brief encounters, conversations and documentation. What will afford a clearer picture to those reporting, to those forming opinions about our school, and to those making monumental decisions regarding this school will be an investment of time and the determination to recognize the strengths very much in place at this school. Children are not only making educational gains here, but they are finding their self-confidence, their abilities to be strong and independent, and to claim their own rightful places in this world.
The Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind is on the cusp of celebrating 175 years of service to children and their families. That’s a long and rich history of faithfulness and commitment to a mission worthy of respect. We invite you to be in touch with us if you would like to learn more.
The writer is Parent-Infant Educator and Outreach Coordinator at VSDB.