Since 1929, Narrowsburg Central Rural School has been educating four generations of local children on the Hill of School Street.
Almost no one in town remembers the time on campus. -
White doors, sloping green lawns, Stars and Stripes break in the breeze ---was not there.
But last year, it went bankrupt due to poor local financial management and the post-financial crisis.
9/11 New York state economy, small schools closed.
In the summer of 2005, when the last student jumped out of the double door, the doorman moved in with packing tape and boxes from the nearby Egg Farm and emptied the classroom.
Among the students left were my son, who was a member of the last kindergarten class.
When city people were looking for a cheap house in 2000, our family first came to narrow Fort.
For just $50,000, we bought the \"weekend house\" that we thought could complete the metropolitan life \".
But shortly after we closed the house, spurred by the accidental arrival of a book contract, we moved to Paris.
Two years later, when our European idyll ended, we moved into the house in Narrowsburg as the tenants were still subletting our city apartment.
After getting used to the French social system-
Cheap medicine, generous benefits, short working weeks, plenty of child care-
A frustrated life back north of New York feels particularly hard.
We have never planned to participate in the life of this town, nor have we ever thought about sending our son to the Narrowsburg school.
But all of a sudden, we became locals in the north and had real benefits in this community.
In the fall of 2004, we sent our son to the kindergarten at the Narrowsburg school.
The reputation of the school among our friends, the others
\"Homeowner,\" not very good.
\"Do they even have classes ? \" A New York City professor sniffed and left a weekend home nearby.
Obviously, the Narrowsburg school is not a traditional first step on the road to Harvard.
As far as I know, though, no one but US is involved in the building.
When my husband and I were investigating, we were all pleasantly surprised.
The school has just been renovated, clean, airy and cheerful.
Nurses and principals know the names of 121 children.
Our son will be one of the 12 little white kids in a sunny kindergarten class, she is a passionate woman with 18 years of teaching experienceyear-olds.
Still, we felt uneasy in the first few months.
80 of the 319 adults in Narrowsburg are veterans, and at least 10 fresh graduates are currently serving at other bases in Iraq or overseas.
The school\'s definition philosophy is traditional and conservative, starting with a sit-indown-in-your-
Discipline seat brand, fermented with rafter-
Awe of the country and the flag.
Every day, students gather in the gym to participate in the \"morning program\", open to parents, first to pledge allegiance, then a patriotic song, and then to discuss the \"word of the week \".
\"In the first few weeks, this week\'s discourse seems to have a dubious connection to some sort of political persuasion:\" military \",\" tourism \",\" state \"and\" alliance \"are among them
But it wasn\'t until our boy came home with an invitation for the \"release time\" Bible class that my husband and I panicked.
We called ACLU and learned that this is a completely legal way for evangelists to preach to children at school time.
The violation of the law is to send the Flyers home in the child\'s backpack, which means the support of the school.
After our investigation, ACLU officially called the principal to complain.
She apologized and promised not to do so again.
While we have never been identified as the person who threw a dime to ACLU, it is clear that no one else in the school community will do so ---
The headmaster never looked at us so warmly.
Soon after, another parent casually told me that she wanted to bring her daughter\'s religious cartoon video in to share with the class, but couldn\'t because \"some people\" might object.
When we learned later that this pleasant kindergarten teacher was part of the most conservative evangelical church in the community, we were careful not to challenge anyone, nor to express any views on politics or religion, for fear that our son will be picked out.
Instead, to fight against any Godand-
He instilled in the country he received at school, and we started our own informal education.
News about Bush, Iraq and Washington. ------------
Politically, in the blue state, the narrow Fort is the red dot.
It has no small name.
Town mentality, but for the narrow way of the Delaware River on the edge of the town, then widened into a serene, lake-like Whirlpool, at dusk it reflects the town and the ranch
Style house on apartment.
The towering pine trees along the river are the nesting grounds of the White eagles that soar every year
In pairs above the main street, they turned around and jumped into the river, sinking their claws into a hundred-foot trout.
That year, my son and I drove along the water to school every morning. I saw the wind gradually blowing away the bright leaves, the snow fell, and the ground froze.
In the white leaf-free months, we can see the entire span of the Delaware Valley from the car, which is a long arc of idyllic perfection.
If you don\'t know anything about the world, if you\'re only 5, 6, 10 years old, and this place is your only America, you have no reason to question the morning show at narrowburg school at all.
Hand over my heart, my son took out his vows cheerfully every morning and sang the stars --Banners.
\"During my commitment, I never stopped resisting the urge to sit down and protest silently.
But when they sang beautiful America, I never failed.
\"Listen to their little voice, I\'m a non for myselfbeliever.
In 1965, when I was 5, did I understand what my left-wing parents thought about the Kennedy assassination --
Soldiers count who I am and deprive my son or his 11 kindergarten parents of one who can be in 5-year-
The old perfect world, maybe there should be such a place.
On November, at the school\'s annual Veterans Day event, the children performed the truck driver\'s national anthem, God Bless America (
One of the memorable lines is \"I love this Los Angeles, no doubt --
God bless America-ay! \")
Like their parents sang together.
About a dozen local veterans-
Ancient men who served in World War II, and old men who served in South Korea and Vietnam ---
Sit on the folding chair under the flag.
When the students finished singing, the principal asked the veterans to stand up and show their identity.
I wonder if anyone will talk about the disaster that is happening in Iraq (
This is never a word for a week). No one did.
The men stood up and said their names, rank and theater.
Finally, a burly gray
Vietnamese veterans with a beard stood up and said what others did not dare to say.
After confirming his identity, he choked: \"Children, I just hope that none of you have experienced what we have experienced.
Then he sat down and left a small bag of shocked silence.
No one praised him for his honest efforts.
On the contrary, the air in the hot gym became strong due to tension, which implicitly rejected the man-
Because we agree with him. -
My husband and I
A month later, just before Christmas, my son and I drove to New York with a bag of children\'s clothing and shoes that he and his sister had grown up.
The Harlem unit of the National Guard is holding a Christmas costume parade for Iraqi children.
On the way into town I tried to explain to my son what we were doing and--
Do what I can-why.
As we crossed the George Washington Bridge and the Manhattan skyline unfolded below us, I started giving him a variant of the conversation about \"Africans have no food, finish dinner.
I want him to understand how honored it is to live in a place where there is no bomb falling from the sky.
It was a conversation I had tried before, but it wasn\'t until that day that he noticed that he was stuck in the back seat of our car.
I told my son in simple words that our president started a war with a country called Iraq.
I said we were bombing the city and destroying the buildings.
I explained that families like us now have no money and no food because their parents no longer have an office to go to and no boss to pay them.
My son asked doubtfully, \"That\'s what America does . \"
\"Yes, America,\" I replied.
He paused and was silent for a long time, then suddenly said, \"but Mom, I love America!
I want to embrace America! \" ------------
A month after Christmas broke out, the first rumor that everything was not going well at school began to circulate.
Poor fiscal management, high fuel and retirement costs, and the depletion of the country\'s economy have created huge, unexpected cash shortages in the small region.
Parents of the Narrowsburg school soon have a number: the cost of having their school open for another year will be slightly higher than $600,000.
Small changes in Washington and New York City, but in a town with a median household income of only $45,000, this is impossible to collect.
By the end of June 2005, the fate of small schools had been doomed.
To my surprise, I find myself deeply sorry for this. The patriot-
The image of our son is thorough enough to survive this summer.
He decorated his birthday cookies with sugar in red, white and blue, and in his summer camp program, when making crafts, these are the paint colors he likes.
\"I turned the stars into red, white and blue ---like the flag!
He said loudly with a paper cell phone he had string together.
Now, it\'s almost a year since my son ran down the steps of Narrowsburg central rural school for the last time.
Since then, we have returned to the city, and we are more driven back to urban life by the boredom of adults than our children lack educational opportunities.
Our son is in a well. rated K-
Five public schools in Upper West Side of Manhattan;
It is no surprise that the Pledge of Allegiance is no longer part of his morning routine.
Think about it, I may be wrong, I have never seen the flag in the house.
However, my husband and I realized that what narrowburg did was not just to shape our children into a patriot.
It turns out he can-
Despite warnings from parents in other cities-
Reading is twice as good as his new peers.
Since we got back to the city, he learned how to ride a bike, yearn for Xbox, practiced some new swearing words, and somehow he learned the meaning of \"sexy.
\"He no longer likes red, white and blue.
I now sometimes think that childish national pride is quickly gone, not surprising at all.
Only once did I realize that after our initial discomfort my husband and I began to see our son\'s patriotism as a symbol of innocence.
His belief reminds us that the reason why we were destroyed by the war in Iraq and President Bush is that we love America so much.
We also want to believe in its potential for good and brotherhood.
Our family now only visit narrowburg house on weekends and holidays.
Sometimes, we go through the solemn red brick school building and recently redecorated the hot windows and elevators for the disabled, a 75-year town landmark.
The flag was still flying there, but the door was locked and the window was black.