Isn't the ACLU supposed to stick up for the small and weak? Apparently the Michigan chapter didn't get that memo.
They're out there fighting a Michigan school district that has banned all felons from volunteering at their kids' schools. Whose side is the ACLU on? Why, the felons of course!
The school's all or nothing policy is keeping out well-meaning parents who had minor felony convictions like writing a bad check, and (foot stamp) it just isn't fair!
Sorry, I'm not buying it.
I understand felons are parents too. But I don't want my child around just any parent. That's why I'm particular about which play dates we accept, and which birthday parties we attend.
When we send our kids to school, we trust the district will surround them with only the best influences. That doesn't simply mean keeping the pedophiles out. That means providing our kids with adults who model best practices.
Especially in elementary school, kids aren't simply at risk of being diddled with. Their minds are like open books (and to throw in another overused but oh so true cliche, steel traps), and they have a hard time discerning when an adult is wrong.
It's all our fault -- we teach them to trust adults and respect their elders. The best coaching at home can be undone by an adult with questionable morals showing your child an alternative from Mom and Dad's teaching. It's maddening. I've spent the last several weeks arguing with my younger brother about smoking anywhere my daughter might see him.
Despite repeated warnings from us that smoking is bad, bad, bad, she's seen him do it several times (he's outside, she's inside, not the best situation but better than in the same room), and has begun to make comments like "well, Uncle Alex does it." Commence pulling out hair, Mom.
But I can rake my brother over the coals for being a moron bad role model. You can't exactly call up the school, ask for the name of their volunteers, then give them a piece of your mind.
Kids ask questions. Skeletons come out of the closets of even the straight and narrow. But convicted felons have a whole lot more skeletons than the rest of us. Even if you were kiting checks back in the 80s, I have to question your ethics. So you'll have to excuse me if I don't want you around my kid.
Image via notsogoodphotography/Flickr