Officials at a Michigan school district decided they were tired of dealing with Kathy Lindsay complaining that her daughter was being bullied. They told her she can't come on the campus of her own kids' public school without written permission. So much for involved parents being the backbone of a child's education, huh?
I'd like to think that school staff appreciate parents who advocate for their kids. We're all in this together, right? But this shocker just ratchets up the fear of being labeled as "that mom" when you try to get some results.
You haven't heard of "that mom"? Stand around during drop-off or pick-up and keep your ears open. You will. "That mom" is loud. She's insistent. She holds feet to the fire.
And yes, sometimes she is a total pain in the arse, and school officials have every right to be completely annoyed. But with stories like Lindsay's, I'm starting to wonder how many moms who get the reputation of being an agitator are really out of line, and how many are being stonewalled by administrators who just don't like hearing that they are sucking at their jobs.
According to a letter Lindsay showed The Sault Star, the school says the principal has dealt with the bullying situation, and they won't discuss it any further. What's more, if she doesn't get written permission before stepping on campus, they'll have her charged with trespassing.
Sounds a little ... over the top, doesn't it? I mean, if her kid forgets her lunch, she has to get "written permission" to bring it to school? What happens if her kid's art project is too big to take on the bus, does she have to get "written permission" to drive her to school with it too?
And when do principals get to summarily decide that a bullying situation is "dealt with"? If a child is still feeling threatened, doesn't that mean there's more to "deal with"?
Of course, there are two sides to every story. Who knows just how much of a thorn in these school staffers' sides Lindsay has made herself. And yet, their piss poor handling of the situation screams like a case of "the school doth protest too much."
Telling a parent they are out of line is one thing. But advocating for our kids is our job as parents. We shouldn't fear retribution at our kids' schools.
How has your child's school responded when you brought an issue to their attention?
Image via dcJohn/Flickr
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