The Principal’s Office

I’ve finally had enough.  Our daughter is in first grade and I finally had to call the principal and ask “The Good Doctor” if I could come in and have a chat with her.

She has been the principal at this school since my twenty-nine year old daughter was in second grade there (20 yrs).

I am just so sick and tired of them telling me how I should think about certain issues concerning the school or the decisions the district makes.  I mean just give me the facts and I’m pretty sure I can make up my own mind without having the PTA President giving me all the email addresses of the School Board members and telling me what to say in my email.

I do understand, of course, that most parents of elementary school aged students are “PTA Virgins”.  Not many of us have twenty plus years experience dealing with these bureaucrats.  I think most PTA Presidents are just so full of themselves and are looking for their fifteen minutes of fame.

Another thing, the school teaches the young children (in PE) that eating nutritional food and regularly exercise is the proper way to develope a healthy body.

Then every other week our six year old comes home with a sticker on her shirt for ChickFilet or The Pizza Place.  If we eat there that night then the school gets a portion of the money.   So eat healthy… unless we can get some money out of it?

I may catch a little bit of grief on this one but…  We don’t do the Halloween thing at our house.  We don’t like to let our kids pretend to be witches and the like.  I let it slide this year when I walked down the hall and saw all the ghosts and witch characters posted on the walls.

So now it’s not Christmas season it’s the Holiday season?!  Heck where’s the manger scene?  But noooooooo. 

Fund raisers. OMG are you friggn kidding me?  How many fund raisers can one school have in a school year?  So far our daughter has brought home THREE fund raisers this year!  Tell you what, why don’t they sell those twelve poly insulated picnic type tables sitting under the trees that only get used once a year for the school bazaar!  How much money can one school squander?

Here’s the straw that broke the camel’s back.  Last year when our daughter was in K5 (you know she is five years old) and Michael Vick was arrested for dog fighting the PE teacher felt like it was okay to talk to the five year olds about dog fighting!  I spoke with him about it and he tells me that it’s sports related since Vick plays football.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!  These are friggn five year old children.  So yesterday I pick up our six year old daughter from school.  I always ask about her day and never let her get away with the “it was fine” answer.  She’s getting the hang of talking to me about her day.  So she says to me, “Billy (or whatever the kid’s name is) almost went to jail for the rest of his life.”  What?!  Well it seems that little Billy kicked little Suzie and the PE teacher (in all of his wisdom) told little Billy that if he kicks anyone again that the police will take him to jail for the rest of his life!  Is that age appropriate correction?  So instead of teaching the children that police officers are the ones’ they can go to too be safe and for help, you want to teach them that they are mean and over reactive. (yes, I know some are but probably not to a six year old)

Another thing that bothered me.  The first graders had their little song fest last week at the PTA meeting where I was told what to think and say.  It’s not a huge deal but all the little deals add up over the years.

They sang that song “I’m Getting Nothing for Christmas”.  The lyrics about mommy and daddy are mad because I stuck a tack in my teacher’s chair, did a whole bunch of other crummy stuff, yadda, yadda, yadda.  Everyone claps and laughs about the thing.  So we teach the kids how important proper behavior is but then teach them a song about how funny it is when you don’t have good behavior?  Sigh.

Then finally (this is one the girls always like).  Next Friday is pajama day!  The kids are supposed to dress up in their pajamas for the day since it’s the last day before “Winter break” and they will pretty much be goofing off all day.  When did wearing your pajamas to school become the norm?  If it’s so okay, why doesn’t the Principal and teachers wear their pajamas to school too?  So kids, I will give you one example by what I do then tell you something else is okay.  I told our first grader, “Pajamas are private clothes and should only be worn in your own home.”

Believe it or not Dr. Principal Lady said I had some good points.  Well after twenty years in exactly the same job she should know how to talk to parents and try to make them believe that she is taking them seriously.

She did say she would investigate the PE guy and give some serious thought to the sticking a tack in the teachers chair song.  We’ll see.

Maybe I’m a bit too old fashioned or something.




6 Responses to The Principal’s Office

  1. psychscribe says:

    I agree with you 1,000% on EVERY point you made. That being said, I would caution you, because if the PTA power mongers get wind of it you might have to go to jail for the rest of your life…where you would have to wear pajamas all day AND get nothing for Christmas…er…excuse me…I mean for the holiday season….

    mssc54 replied:

    ROFL, I am so pshched you agreed!

    I say lumps of coal for the PE teacher this holiday season.

  2. donstuff says:

    I was a principal for several years, but was in schools that had little parent participation or interest. It would have been refreshing to have a parent who cared (about anything).

    mssc54 replied:

    donstuff, we also have (some) schools with parental involvement problems. However, this school is not one.

    I suggested the following to one School Board member to increase parental involvement:

    Create a form or type of logging process whereby each parent who attends meetings are eledgeable for a $100 grocery coupon. Every single time there is a meeting at school that parents SHOULD attend you have a “drawing”, then once a quarter make it $250. Only those parents who have %100 participation would qualify for the $250 drawing.

    I think having the “contest” between the parents and watching them receive their “reward” in front of other parents would create excitement. One of the ancillary benefits would be the kids may get more food in their frig!

    I don’t know, you were the principal. What do you think?

  3. Joy says:

    Being a former school employee, I applaud you for taking your concerns to the principal. By far, not enough do. I just hated the “pajama day” and those kind of things just because the kids would all get so jacked up. But I think there are some times we just have to suck it up because the kids love all those days. I think it helps break up the monotony for the kids. Look at it this way, some kids pajama’s cover more of their bodies than their clothes do!!

    The PE guy should be fired. This age is far to young to be told you’ll go to jail or discuss that creepy Michael Vick.

    mssc54 replied:

    Joy, I think firing the PE guy would be excessive. However, maybe making him attend a sensativity training course given by 7 year olds would be good.

    As for letting the students wear pajamas to break the monotony… I see things in “black or white”. It’s either right or wrong. Wearing pajamas to school is just wrong. 🙂

  4. Servant says:

    Great blog!

    Reminds me of the time my son’s art teacher (he was 7) wanted the theme of the year to be the 60’s with special emphasis on Woodstock. She played Jimmy Hendrix in class in order for the kids to get the “feel” of the era and somehow be inspired by the freedom the event represented (I suppose that was the drugs, sex, and rock & roll). It was definately going a wrong direction. The principal was a coward and refused to address it, so I got with the art teacher and asked if it was possible for the kids to hear the whole history of the 60’s, which included the historically notable “Jesus movement”. After all, if they wanted the “feel” of the era, how about the millions of kids who decided to turn their lives over to the Lord?
    I would even volunteer (no pay) to teach it. Her class would be “fair and balanced”. She said she would think about it.

    The next week…she changed the theme to clowns and the circus. (lol) Oh well…there is public education and the erosion of true freedom of thought.

    mssc54 replied:

    Servant; Haha, I think there is a bit of irony in there. She changed the them to “clowns and the circus”? Seems appropriate.

  5. Pajama day? Whaaaa?

    I do remember fundraisers at my elementary school. I was never allowed to participate in those. Aside from feeling a slight disappointment that I wouldn’t ‘win’ a radio worth 2500 credits – I was a-ok with it.

    He fought with them every year. “My child is not your salesperson. That’s why I pay taxes.”

    mssc54 replied:

    Hayden; Another thing is having to bring “extra supplies” to pool for the entire class. How about just let me provide for my own child!

    Good times.

  6. Des says:

    I bet that felt good to get that off of your chest! My kids go to church school, but have as many issues as your public school does.

    A month ago, the high school praise band was practicing before school started in the morning and the chaplain wanted to wake them up. What did he do? He went out and got them all a Mountain Dew! I went ballistic on this one as I’ve taught my kids to stay away from sodas let alone ones that are pumped full of caffeine. Don’t even get me started on pajama day!

    mssc54 replied:

    Des; Hey why not just give them the pills. They could get the caffine without the sugar!

    I was proud of our little six year old. She received a mini candy bar from her teacher for performing some “trick”. She promptly gave it back to her teacher and told her that she is not supposed to eat a lot of sugar. 😉

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