Originally posted as a reply on the "Pleasanton Weekly Blog Hurting Community" topic, but I'm posting here under a more positive heading...
Despite the fact that some of the posts recently have contained some personal attacks which might be hurtful, I really appreciate having the Pleasanton Weekly host this forum. I have lived in Pleasanton since 1998, and for the longest time, have felt a huge void in the information which is disseminated in the community. Major events have occurred, often ones which directly affect the families with teens, and we either NEVER hear about them in an official publication, or the notice of the event is buried deep within a newspaper days or a week after the event. We hear vague reports from our kids; rumors which circulate around the middle schools or the highs schools, but little or no verification of the facts. If we don't have friends with their fingers (or ears) to the pulse of the town, friends with friends or "peeps" in the police or fire department, then we NEVER know the facts. When we hear the sirens around town at night, I'm sure all of us with kids on the roads cringe. But where can we find out what the sirens were?
Thank you, Pleasanton Weekly, for finally allowing a place to exchange information and ideas.
Now, let's take this forum and make it a positive one. I have been very heartened by the outpouring of emotion, ideas, anger, resolution, and hope for a better model for raising our kids here the past few weeks. Never have I felt more a sense of community and support, despite all of the emotion and raging. At least there is some sign that people are listening and THINKING!!
I wish that every reader would now take a look around their own home, their own group of friends, their kids' friends, their kids' friends' families and start reaching out and making positive connections and talking about what has happened. As some posts have indicated, parents: forgo your wine-laden dinner downtown with friends and instead of just dropping your teen off at a friend's house without checking to see that the parents are actually home and not off to an evening out themselves, CALL to see if there is adult supervision. Or better yet, cancel the dinner with friends two weekends out of four and do something as a family, despite the vehement protests of your teen. They will live through the "ordeal" and hey, you might all have fun. When your teen tells you "of COURSE the parents are going to be there when I sleep over", pick up the phone and call! It might embarrass your son the first time or two, but I'm sure the other parent will actually appreciate your call. It does take a village.
All that aside, let's keep talking here. Argue, debate (nicely), agree, agree to disagree, but continue to support the right to communicate across town, across the "Ruby Hill vs. Val Vista" mentality, across single-parent, divorced parent, two working parents, stay-at-home moms, work-at-home dads, all of those artificial barriers that people have tried to introduce. Our kids need this, we need it, and I'll be really disappointed if someone tries to shut it down because a few folks haven't "played nice".