When the play "Rent" was canceled at Monrovia High School with what seemed to be no explanation I was concerned. Were people afraid to talk about homosexuality and AIDS? Was this a homophobic reaction? I emailed the superintendent. What I received back was an invitation to meet for coffee. I responded that I didn't live in her district. She didn't care. She wanted to hear from a son and his mother about their experiences in school. She wanted to gather information. And so Aiden and I went to Monrovia to talk with Dr. Wagner over a cup of coffee.
In the end, she has not changed her position on the cancellation of "Rent". What originally upset me, I now understand. She took the time to communicate with me and my son, and is carving out a different way to address my concerns. She has asked for our help and we are more than happy to do what we can.
Having coffee with this superintendent has given me more hope that leaders in education will do something to stop the behaviors that are causing youth around the country to believe their life has no meaning. She has vision . . . . she has courage . . . . and she has heart. I want to be more like Dr. Linda Wagner . . . . .