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JENKINS: A public school kid, and darn proud of it

Recently, my dad showed me an angry e-mail from a private school parent. I know it was from a private school parent because he or she made a big deal out of being a

private school parent. Did I mention that the e-mailer's child goes to private school?

Anyway, this anonymous e-mailer, whose actual complaint was fairly minor, concluded by saying that my dad is an ignoramus (I learned that word in my public school language arts class) whose children clearly couldn't get into private school.

On the first charge, that my dad is ignorant, I'm probably better off not saying anything (sorry, Dad). I am a teenager, after all. However, I do feel compelled to respond to the second accusation.

My sister, who graduated from college in three years and is now pursuing an MBA, and my brother, who's on academic scholarship at a large private university, might be surprised to learn that they're not smart enough to be accepted at some small-time private school in Gwinnett County. In reality, not only would they have been accepted, they'd have raised the school's average SAT score by several points.

I don't think I'd have much trouble getting in, either. I just don't want to. It's not that I have anything against private schools. The kids are cool enough. The parents, on the other hand ...

The truth is, even though I realize there are some decent private schools, I'd just rather go to public school.

One reason is cost. Wait, what cost? Public school is funded by the taxpayers, including private school parents who call my dad an ignoramus. I guess I should say "thank you."

Something else you won't find at most private schools is a 5-A athletic program. At my public school, I have the opportunity to compete at the very highest level of Georgia high school athletics, against the best athletes in the state -- not counting the ones who are recruited by private schools.

Another reason I like public schools better is the cafeteria food. No, wait. Never mind.

Finally, there are the girls. I'm not saying public school girls are hotter than private school girls. There are definitely some good looking private school girls. It's just that public schools are larger, so there are more of them. And I'm all in favor of large numbers of hot girls.

So there you have it: public school makes me happy. Too bad 12 years of it made my dad an ignoramus.

Michael Jenkins is a ninth-grader at Mountain View High School. E-mail him, in care of his father, at rjenkinsgdp@yahoo.com.