Here's proof that just because you get a job at a school doesn't mean you should be working around children. A lunch lady has been arrested -- and fired from her job -- after allegedly paying kids $1 to beat up another fourth grader!
The 9-year-old victim had allegedly insulted the cafeteria worker, swearing at her and using a nasty name, but that doesn't excuse the adult's bad behavior here. That's what referral slips and a trip to the principal's office is for!
The lunch lady, who was just 18 years old, supposedly passed a background check before she got her job at Campus Elementary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. But that check evidently didn't include judging whether she was equipped to deal with kids day in and day out.
Come to think of it: how many support service workers in schools ARE equipped to work with kids? That's not exactly in the job description, is it? A lunch lady needs to know how to make "food" and dish it out onto a plate. A janitor has to know how to get pieces of gum off the bottom of desks and clean up puke in the lunchroom. The main office secretary has to know how to type up memos and file paperwork.
So what happens when they're faced with a bratty 9-year-old? Do they know what they should do?
Some do, of course. I remember janitors and lunch ladies in my day who were fantastic with us kids.
But then there were the grumps who really should have been working somewhere far, far away from kids. FAR away.
From what I can tell, not much has changed since I was a kid. There are the support staff who my daughter is excited to see when we're out and about, and the support staff she hides from in the grocery store (leaning over to whisper "she's so MEAN" to me when they're gone). I'll admit I don't pay that much attention to her complaints -- they've never been ultra serious or criminal -- but maybe I should. Maybe meet the teacher night should be extended to "meet everyone who is going to interact with my kid" night. It would be good to put a face to these names, if nothing else, and to let these people know we have their number!
I wonder if the un-named lunch lady, who is charged with disorderly conduct and aiding and abetting delinquency for allegedly arranging a kiddie hit on the fourth grader who swore at her, would have been a little more careful if she knew parents were watching her every move!
How well do you know the support staff at your kids' school? Do you feel like they're good with your kids?
Image via Lew Robertson/Corbis