Friday, March 4, 2016

Are You KIDDING Me?

Me after reading an email from Guppy 2's principal!



As a child who was born in the 1970's (YIKES!), I can admit that our parents got a LOT of stuff wrong...smoking while pregnant....not wearing a seat belt....BIKE HELMET? What's that?..Etc. 

However, in my opinion, here's one thing our parents did NOT get wrong...

Letting us "older kids" (11 or 12 and up) get a little freedom after school, on the weekends, and during the summer.   I remember walking around my small town with my friends....visiting the local convenient store to buy candy, heading off to the park, even (once we were 13 plus) heading to the local pizza place and ordering pizza.  These little tastes of freedom helped us learn about the world and how we would eventually function in it.  We learned to problem solve (making sure we had enough money on us to buy "x,y, & z" PLUS tax!), to be social, and to just start to navigate the world around us without having our parents over our shoulders....not that they ever were in the '70's.  LOL

Why am I rambling on about this?

Guppy 2 has an upcoming half day from school.  Her middle school is very close to some prime teen locations....one direction there is a pizza place that everyone in town loves...the other direction leads to a popular coffee shop, a froyo place, another pizza joint, Subway, and a supermarket.  All wonderful places for 7th and 8th graders to test out the waters of responsibility, right?  Apparently the principal doesn't think so.

Here is an excerpt of an email that was sent to us....

"Due to increased concerns regarding student safety, loitering, and lack of courtesy to members of the community and business owners, students will not be permitted to go into town from school without parent notification to the main office.  On this day, students without notification must go home via their normal means of transportation.  If students go into town, parents should provide transportation from home."

SAY WHAT?!?!

I get the local newspaper and there has NOT been any incidents on half days as far as I can tell.  I also know the pizza places and froyo places LOVE the extra revenue half days generate.

What's next?  My daughter loves to go to a local burger joint and then bowling on the weekends...Should I ask the principal's permission then too?

You may be wondering why I don't just "write the note" and be done with it.  Well, first let's not forget that I need to provide the transportation then too because, apparently, I haven't taught my daughter how to cross a street.

And, more than that...

I try to give my daughter freedom to make plans and choices within reason.  There are many days I will get a text from her during lunch period asking if she can stay afterschool for a club, extra help in a class, etc. or go walk into town with friends.  And, I like the fact that (thank you cell phones) she and her friends can do this sort of thing.

They will be going into high school next year and I KNOW that once the bell rings and the kids are off school property, administration doesn't care what they do...And why is that?  Because we are trying to raise teenagers into functioning adults!

Oh and the high school doesn't do it, because you know, LEGALLY they can't!

And neither can the middle school principal!

I don't know what G2 wants to do yet on her half day.  She and her friends haven't decided as of yet.  But, guess what?  I AM HER PARENT!  I will decide what she will or won't do, not the principal.  Once she is off school property, he can suck it!

For those of you with kids in public school, have any of your children's principals tried to pull this?

4 comments:

  1. Meh. It's one thing to have a table of well behaved kids at a restaurant or a few kids who ride their bikes to town for an ice cream cone on a summer day, but quite another to have large packs of tweens and young teens roaming unsupervised. "... loitering, lack of courtesy to community members and business owners..." is what really stands out to me. I am sure there have been problems in the past and the business owners are reaching out to the school for help. Not newsworthy crimes, but kids spending extraordinary amounts of time at restaurants while being messy, loud & obnoxious. Kids leaving trails of misplaced merchandise and chaos in their wake in stores, etc. To me, the principal is just strongly encouraging kids to go home in an effort to avoid future problems - not undermining parental authority.

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    1. While I respect your opinion, I have been around said areas when the kids have had half days and not seen any problems. We do have quite a large "older" population and, if anything, THEY are the ones who are complaining. THEY are also the ones who complain about kids going to the town pool to cool off/have fun during the summer months.
      A friend of mine is friend's with someone on the town council who is investigating this issue because the principal can NOT stop these kids from going about their business AFTER school hours.
      And, this "problem" has been happening for years then because, when G1 was in middle school, the old principal didn't want kids going into town either. Only difference is now THIS principal thinks he has the authority to dictate it.
      BTW, not all tweens/teenagers are obnoxious, loud, & messy when in public. And if there any who are, they should be addressed accordingly and individually. No need to penalize everyone for a "potential" problem.
      When the high school has half days, these restricting emails certainly don't go out...

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  2. I can understand why it may seem like the school is overstepping it's bounds here, but I see both sides on this situation. The school is responsible for the students to get on their buses or whatever their normal means of transportation is. If a student decides on their own to go on their way to town and do their own thing and then some kind of trouble arises from it (mischief, accidents, etc.), the parents can go back to the school and say that the school is responsible because they did not do their job by making sure the student went home the way they were supposed to. I think the school is trying to cover it's bases and make sure that the parents write notes with their permission if a student is leaving by any other means of their normally approved transportation. That way if anything happens it is not the schools fault or responsibility. I am sure your daughter is a responsible student and would not get into any kind of trouble intentionally, but unfortunately, not all students are like that. We do live in a very different day and age now.

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    1. I see what you are saying Dawn. BUT, unless kids are taking a different bus than their own, the school has no idea what is going on. There have been many days that I have picked G2 up at dismissal time without sending in a note.
      As I said above to "anonymous", the problem I think is that we have a large very vocal older population who still believe in the "children should be seen and not heard" mentality.
      And, while we do live in a different day and age now, I think it's still important to let tweens/teenagers explore and spread their wings a bit.
      And, I truly believe the ONLY reason the Froyo shop is still open is due to tween/teen customers. If there is a problem, it should be addressed on a case by case basis. Not a sweeping inclusion that all the kids are going to cause trouble.

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