Northwest NEWS

February 14, 2000

Editorial

Public schools hold our future in their hands

   I would like to take a moment to share some of my experiences with the Monroe Public School District and explain why I will vote for the upcoming levy on March 14, 2000.

   My husband and I married in 1990, and our first child was due in January of 1992. After a healthy, full-term pregnancy, I gave birth to our son, Dylan.

   The delivery was very difficult, and Dylan suffered a fractured skull and much trauma during birth, but he appeared otherwise healthy. Sadly, at five days old, he developed a fever, and we took him to Children's Hospital, where he was diagnosed with e-coli sepsis and spinal meningitis.

   The doctors were unable to control the e-coli bacteria, and he suffered strokes, brain damage, hydrocephalus, and lost his vision. We had him baptized in Intensive Care when he was two months old, as he was not expected to survive the next few days.

   Amazingly, Dylan overcame his battle with e-coli, and after four months, three neurosurgeries, and several recurrences, the infection was under control. We were told he would not regain his sight, and among other things, would have the mentality of a one-to-three-year-old as an adult.

   We were devastated, but were grateful to have a baby to bring home at all. We made a decision that we could not afford morally or financially to have someone else provide the special care Dylan required, and so I stayed at home with him and began a weekly regimen of therapy and constant doctor visits.

   Now at the age of eight, Dylan has regained much of his vision and is functioning very well. He is learning to read and write in Braille, and is a happy, well-adjusted first grader. I am able to meet with his teachers and therapists regularly, and I believe my input is valued and regarded by all of those working with him.

   His recovery has been nothing short of miraculous, and much of his progress has been due to the wonderful care and instruction he has received through the Monroe School District.

   As the mother of four, I have had much experience with the public school system at several different levels and in three districts. I have been thoroughly impressed with the level of education given to all of my children.

   The levy we are voting for on March 14 goes to support all of our children, those with special needs, gifted children, smaller class sizes, and the arts. I will vote for this levy and those to follow, and implore others to vote for it, as well.

   The public schools hold our future in their hands, and they need our support to continue to provide the best possible education for our children.

Jamie Job, Snohomish