Thursday, August 21, 2008

Second Day of School

and I fucking hate it.

Not the getting up early, not the traffic (although all that sucks too). Somehow in the excitement of it all, I completely forgot that I was committing him to a sheeple processing factory. An institution.

Today I parked way the hell out by the road, again, because of the grossly inadequate parking, took both kids by the hand along with a book bag and a bag of school supplies and party invites and headed for the classroom.

"You can't come back here without a pass," says some jerk with an inflated sense of authority.

"Oh, I didn't kno..."

"You HAVE to have a pass. I'm JUST doing my job."

"Okay, that's fine, I'll get one."

I go to the office to find a line 30 people long, all of them holding their driver's licenses. So I go back out.

"Am I going to need my license?"

"I told you that you need a pass. It doesn't matter if you have a license, you have to have a pass."

"I'm trying to get a pass, I'm just asking you if they'll need my license. I don't have it on me."

"Then you won't be able to get a pass."

"Okay, but he needs to get to his classroom."

"There are all kinds of adults back there, he'll be fine."

"Well, he just turned five and his classroom is at the other side of the building. I'm not sure he would ask, or know who to ask. Could one of the volunteers take him?"

"Yes, fine."

I give him a hug and a kiss and watch as she shoos him down the hallway...alone.

"Wait. It's his second day of kindergarten and his first day in this huge building..."


"I'm just asking you to make sure he gets where he needs to go safely." (near tears, not knowing whether to hate her for being a bitch or myself for being a wuss.)

"Ma'am," she said, grabbing a random passing parent who did have a pass, "Can you take this little boy to Mrs. D's classroom?"

"I don't know where that is?" She says looking baffled.

"One of them will help you," pointing in the general direction of the crowded hallways.

"Um, okay," she replied, taking my child's hand and walking off.

I know I'm overly tired and probably extra sensitive, but I started to cry. I was just so mad. I'm all for policies, especially for safety, but I'm also all for having a brain and a heart, and I personally couldn't have treated a tired mom with a toddler and a brand new kindergartener like she was going to burst into the school with a machine gun and start killing or molesting people on the second day.

There was far more danger in her original plan of just shooing him down the hallway alone. Sure he would've gotten there eventually but would his fear and confusion on the second day of school been worth protecting the masses from his stupid mother who forgot her driver's license?

Jerk. I'm writing a letter. I'm not just saying that either, I'm going to at least let the principal know that maybe there should be a little bit of flexibility on the second day of school, or at least kindness and the promise that my child will be well taken care of.

My computer is TRASHED. I don't know what's up, my anti-virus doesn't know what to do, my screen is all distorted and huDge, I'm going to go shut down and pray for a miracle upon re-boot. Today's got to get better, right?


Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry and I completely feel for you and have been there. I'm not one to advice (she says as she gives advice), BUT the first rule of parenting in elementary school is don't let people at the school push you around. You can go get in that line and ask for a pass without your drivers license. Surely they will realize you didn't kidnap the child and then bring him to school. Your job is to make sure he is safe and comfortable too and don't let those with overinfated sense of their job keep you from it. I walked my kindergarener to class every day of kindergarten. Oh, they wanted me to drop her off...too bad...not happening. Don't be afraid to politely stand up for yourself. The school TOTALLY does what is best for the school, not your child. I'm getting all fired up for you.

Ami said...

Awww... it will get better, but I'm sorry that the school staff was less than understanding. Definitely write that letter.

Anonymous said...

You do need to write a letter. Maybe the lady was having a bad day too but working with elementary kids early in the morning on the 2nd day of school requires a little compassion.

Amy said...

I'm sorry - this is terrible. I would have cried too. I know it ruined your day, but I hope he had a good day at least.

Sullivans said...

I am so with you on that. I was crushed when my son started k this year - not because he is growing up or because i would miss him - but because I felt like I was turning him over to the government to be indoctrinated. That is crap that they put your son through that. I would have been LIVID. Dont write a letter - go in there and bitch out the principal.

Caren said...

OH Ashley, you poor thing. I'd be crying too. That's uncalled for and just not right. I hope Big Kid at least has a good day. Please let us know what happens when you complain.

Joy said...

Yes there is deffinetly a need for safety but seriously on the first day of school or even the first week of school there needs to be a bit of relaxation on their part.

My son's school is good and they let the parents bring the kindergarteners in the entire first week of school to their class with no pass, you just have to enter thru the k-2 entrance not the front door. I took my son (he stared 1st) in on the first day and never bothered to stop at the office to get a pas, but they will lay the smack down on you if you try it later on. Of course you can't even get in the front door without being buzzed in.

Melodie said...

That's ridiculous! Did you need a pass to take him to his class yesterday? What makes you more of a threat to school safety today than you were yesterday?
I'm all for school safety and I'm glad they don't just let anyone wander into the school, but I've never been told that I couldn't walk my child to class in elementary school.
Definitely call or write a letter to the principal. Do they think that after one day of being walked to his classroom that BK will just suddenly know his way there all by himself? You'd think they would welcome the parents walking their children to class rather than having a bunch of lost kindergarteners wandering around without a clue and crying because they are lost. Hell, half of the kindergarteners don't even remember what their teacher's name is on the second day of school, so how are they going to ask anyone for help with how to get to their class?


Oh Ashley. I'm so sorry this has been so hard. I've gotten to where I hate public schools (and I'm a teacher!). I'd definitely start looking into the possibility of private schooling. They're usually smaller and a lot more understanding about things.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a cold-hearted bitch. My 4 year old starts kindergarten in a couple of weeks and I'm totally terrified of the same thing happening to me. You really need to write a letter to the principal and copy your local superintendent in also. Or better yet join the PTA and work to change the school's policy.

Margaret said...

I would have cried, too. She absolutely shouldn't have treated you like that. I used to work in an elementary school and we always gave parents a grace period during the first week of school where they could walk their children to their classrooms without a pass. I hope it gets better--and I definitely think you should write a letter or meet with the principal!

Julie H said...

"the first rule of parenting in elementary school is don't let people at the school push you around"

So true!!

Don't worry pretty soon the kids will just jump out of the car with barely a wave goodbye! They grow up so fast!

Carrie said...

That's awful. I'd be mad too. I hope things improve soon!

The Chic Chauffeur said...

Okay, that about broke my heart. That nasty hall-pass nazi needs to be relieved of duty. I would be back up at that school with my drivers license, waiting to speak to the principal.

Hang in there!!!

Katie Ryan said...

I'm sorry. I've been in situations with my kid like that, too. And I, too, cried. I wish people could be more sensitive to extenuating circumstances.

Anonymous said...

OMG, seriously. She could have showed a little compassion and not barked it at you. I understand there are rules, but the way she handled it was inexcusable. I would have cried too.

Good luck with your PC, I spent ALL DAY Saturday trying to fix mine and it's better, but still is having random issues.

Mitch said...

That made me want to cry too! I'm pissed off for you. I write really good angry letters, let me know if you want one. I've already got it written in my head!

Makes me dread the day when Ray has to start...

Anonymous said...

Not to be the devil's advocate or anything.....but I work in a school and every year, safety on campus is my soap box. We have an open campus, with access from many different directions. People are always walking though the halls. Yes, we have passes, but all it takes is to walk up to the counter with the visitor sign in book, write a name, and get a pass from the basket. Nobody checks your name, ID or anything. I could write any name down. That visitor pass is for just in case we have a fire or earthquake, we'll know who was on campus so we can account for them. But most people don't even stop into the office, and most teachers don't require parents to have a pass before they walk into their class. So what are ya gonna do? If my children went to this school, I'd be complaining mightily about all the strangers walking around. Shoot, as an employee, my safety is at risk, too.

Personally, I like the idea of showing ID. I'm going to suggest it to our new principal.

BUT, there is a nice, friendly way of handling things like this. Maybe the first week or two of school there could be parent volunteers who do the passes so there isn't a line of 30 people waiting to get their pass.

There's a happy medium somewhere between BK's school and mine. For both of our sake and the safety of the kids, I hope we can find it.

Unknown said...

I don't think it's safe to pass my kid onto a random parent (even if she had a pass, if she was some sort of freak who did do something, they still wouldn't know WHO she was, no one took down her name as she took my kid's hand) and I definitely don't think encouraging just-turned-5 year olds to wander hallways aimlessly could possibly be safe. He can't even say his teacher's name.

If they want to play Nazi prison yard, they better have some volunteers around to escort little kids to their class room. People with two brain cells should be trusted to judge a situation and act accordingly. The liability of NOT letting me in was greater than or equal to whatever risk there may have been of letting me walk him there myself.

Day Two!! Of kindy!! Oh I'm still so ticked...

Jennifer said...

I hope the rest of the year turns out better.

When Tootie started kindergarten, they asked us to not even come onto campus the first day!

Anonymous said...

ugh, one more reason for me to hate public school.

bk definitely needs montessori. you should look into it. they won't try to dumb him down like the ps system.

Anonymous said...

You officially have me freaking out. My oldest starts pre-k in a couple weeks and after reading this.....I have gone over the edge.

WHY can't people be a little more sensitive to others? WHY would anyone treat a child that way by not allowing HIS MOTHER to take him to class? THIS is beyond comprehension to me....just awful.

I'd write a letter, and hand deliver it to the principle for sure!

Steff said...

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Anonymous said...

Awwwww, Ashley! I am almost crying for you. My oldest starts first grade next week. Even though we got through kindy unscathed, I still dread sending her back into the world of school alone.

I'm sorry you were treated that way. The lack of compassion is just a shame. I'm angry for you.


Mitch said...

I meant to throw this one out there - My mom is a teacher in a local elementary school (2nd grade). On Wednesday, she had a random 4 year old in her class but didn't think much about it because there were other parents there and thought said 4 yr old belonged to one of them. But then, all the parents left and there was still the 4 year old, who couldn't speak english BTW, still there. She had to call the school nurse to figure out where he belonged! So, the same thing could have happened to BK. Grrrr. I'm mad for you!

Unknown said...

I would have cried too! I would be PISSED big time and would request a meeting with the principal or something. That is beyond bull shit. I am totally upset for you about this. That person did not need to be such a jerk at all. I hope you do write a letter because they obviously need to educate these hall monitors about how to have a little common decency.

Mary Beth said...

Ashley, I'm a school administrator and I am horrified by your story. I don't know which bothers me more-the rude attitude or pawning your child off on a passing stranger. Definitely write a letter to the princial to let him/her know what happened. Yes, it is important to have a safe school, but there are diplomatic and nicer ways of going about it.

We have over 500 kids in my school (K-5) and we require visitors to sign in and get a badge. However, all staff are instructed to be polite and helpful. The first few days of school we have all staff on duty to make sure that parents and students are directed to their correct rooms.

Sorry if I got ranty about it, but that was inexcusable. If you don't get a response from the principal, call until you get someone that will listen to you.

Good luck!

Lipstick said...

Oh, I would have cried too. Angry and sad tears all at once.

Multislacking Mama said...

I'm sorry :( That hurt my feelings reading about it. Poor Momma.


Just Lisa said...

No, that is total BS. I would have had a breakdown, too. Don't those firggin' idiots realize it's kindergarten??? It's traumatic for the mommies, too! I would not be ok with a total stranger walking away with my 5-year-old!

Anonymous said...

Everything has already been said. I just send my {hugs}.

Nomers said...

This school deserves an angry letter. No one should expect a little guy like him to know where his class is on the second day or to have you just let any parent walk your kid to class. Uncool!

Unknown said...

Stephanie, thanks so much for the anti-virus info!! I will follow it to a T in the morning. I will be SO GLAD if it works.

Everyone else, thanks for the support. It's nice to know I'm right and I'm not the only crybaby.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jenny, guess where the "teacher from the black lagoon"
went when the public school noticed she was lazy and harsh?
Answer: the local private school!

Anonymous said...

If all parents need a pass, why didn't the school send a letter out to the parents ahead of time saying so? Also, why didn't have an evening or two before school started where parents could go and get their pass instead of having to wait in line AFTER school begins? I have found that in the county where I live the school board is run like the Mob and most of the member act like they can do whatever they want, especially the Superintendent, Ruddy Crew. Bunch of morons! Parents and teachers get used and abused, the kids end up with an education that sucks and you have to put up with people like that overzealous and totally without compassion lady. Kudos to you for writing your letter!

Portia Cason said...

Heads should ROLL!