Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Low-Down of the Show-Down

I know that I don't make it over here very often, and when I do--it seems like it is mostly all negative. I assure you that I am not a negative person, and that I lead a rather postive life!! :)

My hope with this blog, was to share a more personal side of me and give more of an insight into my day to day life. Fingers crossed I will get better at doing so. I'm sure my family would enjoy that.

Anyway, something happened yesterday that definitely rattled some nerves. If you follow me on Twitter, you got to see the "short" part of it. But for those of you who missed it--here is the lowdown of the showdown.

Yesterday was the first day of school for all three of my children. The youngest one entering half day, afternoon preschool. Considering that he is only 4, I wasn't quite ready for him to ride the school bus yet, even though his big brother and sister would be right there with I decided that I would pick him up, as well as the older two.

When I arrived at the school to pick up my son from preschool, they dismissed all parent pick ups. When doing this, they walk all the way on the other side of the building and exit basically into one huge parking lot that has little to no supervision. Not only was I worried for my children to go out there without me being able to get them, but I didn't want them to get out there and not be able to find me.

When the parent pickups were released, I seen my daughter in the very same hallway I was in. When she walked by, I was just going to get her then. I looked on the other side (which is where the 3rd graders are) and all of them were out in the hallway, but I didn't see Nicholas. I was terrified that he had just walked out of the building, while I was waiting inside for him. Since his classroom is right next to the office, I walked down there and peeked in to see if he was still in there. Indeed he was, they hadn't dismissed I turned around and was walking back to where I came from. The secretary stopped me and told me that I was in violation of their policy by walking past the office and going to his classroom. I apologized for doing so, and explained to her the situation in hopes that we could fix it before it got worse. She was very rude and disrespectful to me and continued to tell me that I wasn't following policy. While this was going on, my daughter exits the building, not knowing I was in there. I requested that the secretary call Nicholas to the office since that is the correct policy, and so that he didn't end up out there, too. And she does. But he goes outside. In the middle of all of this, the secretary turns to another woman in the office and says, "Call Mr.XXXX (the principal), I AM NOT dealing with an ANGRY parent on the FIRST day of school!"

Um, excuse me?

I went over and signed Noah out of his first day of preschool, trying to be as chipper as I possible could. As soon as I walked out of the classroom and went to exit the building and get my other 2, the principal stops me.

At this point I am furious knowing that my 2 children are outside looking for me, with little to no supervision in a sea of people and cars. When I get furious, unfortunately I cry. In this situation, I was fighting with my emotions so much, because I didn't want to make a scene, and I didnt' want to cry. I couldn't breathe and I became very dizzy. Quite frankly, I don't remember exactly what he was saying to me, and all I remember saying to him was that I didn't like way of handling the situation and that things are going to have to change because I am not going through this every single day.

By this point we had made our way to my children, who were thankfully with a dear friend of mine. She had seen me go into the building to pick up Noah, and knew something was askew when my other 2 children came out the opposite side of the building. I grabbed my other 2 children and promptly left.

I kid you not when I say it took me an hour to get where I could breathe and not be dizzy. My stomach, even today is still in a tizzy.

The bottom line here was that they didn' see an issue with how they handled things. I was treated very poorly, even if I did break policy--I am NO stranger to that building. So, this morning I sent an email to the school.

Here is part of it:

"Yesterday was not a good day. First things first, I’m all for
following policies and rules. I apologize for not adhering to them yesterday when I peeked into Nicholas’s classroom to make sure he was still in there. In my defense, the very thing I didn’t want to happen, and I was trying to avoid, happened.

I experienced my first ever panic attack yesterday, and because of this I do not feel as if I made any amount of sense in what I was saying—or trying to get across. I apologize if I made any sort of scene, but I want you to understand where I am coming from. "

I explained exactly what happened from my perspective...

"My children are very dear to me, as I am sure yours are to you. My heavenly
Father has entrusted their care and well being to me and my husband. I do
everything in my power to make sure that they are taken care of and not put in
harms way. While I would like to believe that I have nothing to worry about while they are at school, and in your care, I can’t help but worry a little bit when they are sent outside where there is little to no supervision. For this very reason, I have told both of my other children to meet me at the preschool classroom or the glass office when school is dismissed. Obviously calling them to the glass office doesn’t work, since Nicholas was still allowed to go outside after being
called there yesterday. Hopefully this will work for you all and the rules/policies
that are set forth. I pray that a situation like yesterday doesn’t happen again.

While I fully admit that I was in the wrong walking down to Nicholas’s classroom, there was no reason for XXX to treat me the way she did. Above all, those are my children entrusted into your care for the time being. I am no stranger to the
school. I have been to every class party, field trip and school event as well as had
numerous communications with, you, Mr. "Principal". I would hope by now
that you all would know my character, and know that I am not out to do harm or
cause trouble. You ask over and over again for parent involvement, but
make it near impossible to do so.

Thank you for your attention to
this matter—I look forward to hearing from you.

Concerned Parent "

I have yet to get a response and it was emailed first thing this morning. Let's hope for a better ending to today!

Any thoughts????


Amy @ Finer Things said...

Can't wait to hear how they respond!

Miriam said...

I think you totally did the right thing. Their policy against parents being in the school raises my eyebrows, but that's beside the point. Hopefully Ms. XXX that treated you so rudely was just having a really terrible day - maybe she'd already dealt with multiple "truly angry" parents and jumped to the conclusion that you were just another one. But - I'm not trying to excuse her behavior. That is not a professional way to treat anyone, and in my former job, boy oh boy, I would've been majorly written up for such conduct (and believe me, I dealt with my fair share of angry customers!).

Kristina White said...

Your letter was great and to the point! Parents are so important to schools today and I agree with you that both the schools and the districts are making it IMPOSSIBLE for this to be! If you do not get a response back, or if you feel that it still does not end up with the closure you expect, I would notify the district. :) K

Anonymous said...

I think it was a great letter and much needed. While we all understand the need for policy, we must remember to show basic compassion and when to bend the rules a bit. I tend to feel the same way at my kids' school and it upsets me since WE pay the taxes and WE entrust our kids into their care for the day. Ultimately, we pay their paychecks. How upsetting. I had a similar incident at the beginning of our last school year and it left a bad taste in my mouth all year. Good luck to you!

Anonymous said...

Hey sweetie! SEND A COPY TO THE SUPERINDENT!!! Send a copy to the newspaper, send a copy to the kids teachers. A loud word gets response. Let us know :) Also how did today go?

Amy -Cutting Coupons in KC said...

I am so sorry that you had such a negative experience on the first day of school. I am glad that you sent a very tactful and polite letter. If you don't get a response, go higher up in authority and keep going up until you get a response and a solution!! This sounds like a dangerous situation that needs to be resolved before a child is lost or hurt.

Bree said...

I feel for you. I think you handled your email response well. I would be concerned too. I don't let my 4th grader ride home on the bus either for reasons of supervision and what has occured on a bus last year. (lets just say it made the local news and leave it at that)
It is our job to protect our kids and if the school does not have teachers to watch them outside that is a MAJOR issue.
Our school dismisses kids to the bus and then the teachers walk out front with the rest of the kids and stay there with them till the parents pick up in a car line that forms out front. We have over 900 kids in the school and it seems the best way to keep and eye on all the kids. Even the principal stands out front every morning and every afternoon.
You had every reason to freak out and I would not tolerate it either. I also get teary when I get super mad it is hard to control that. I am sorry that it happened to you on the first day.

momstheword said...

I think your letter was very well written. It wasn't rude and you definitely got your point across.

Did you send a cc to the superintendent? That might get more attention.

The secretary was obviously stressed out or something but she was still in the wrong to be so rude. You would think they would be prepared for that transition.

I would not like my children (especially the youngest) to be out with cars and people like that either.

I can't believe you haven't heard back yet.

Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting said...

On the first day of school? WTH? I'm sorry, but on the first day of school you should be able to goof up without being vilified for it! Hell-to-the-NO there!

You go back and tell them that, because of their lack of supervision, you were afraid he was wandering! And if they want to give you crap for it, just cut and run. You don't need it!

Please keep me updated, I'm angry FOR you!