Well, it’s Day Two of kindergarten and I’ve already sent an email to the principal of Bean’s school. I don’t know whether to be proud or embarrassed. Good Lord, sometimes I drive myself insane.
Bean school is brand new this year, which means the school is having a few growing pains. One of which is the traffic pattern for drop-off and pick-up of children. It is INSANE the lines that we have been waiting in. One of my neighbors got in line at 2:45 to pick up his children at 3:00, and he didn’t get his children into his car until 4:00!!!! Seriously, it’s been a nightmare.
But that wasn’t actually my issue. This morning, Chris took Bean to school and he waited in the incredibly long carpool lane. When he pulled up to the front of the school, there was a staff member standing at the curb YELLING at parents and children. She was yelling so much that Bean started to cry and was scared to go inside. So Chris, being the wonderful and amazing parent that he is, went to park his car and he walked Bean up to the school instead.
The rules of drop-off clearly state that parents are not allowed inside the building after the first day. And I completely understand that. It would be chaos, and not to mention a security issue, if people could just stroll into the building every morning. But Chris wasn’t trying to go inside the building. He was simply walking Bean up to the front door and then Bean would go inside to find his classroom by himself (which is actually another issue I have, but I haven’t gone all “Mama Bear” on that one yet… Where the heck are the people to help five year old kids get to class on their SECOND day of school????).
Anyway, Chris is standing there trying to pump Bean up and get him confident enough to walk inside the building when all of a sudden, that crazy staff lady starts yelling at Chris and Bean! She yells at Bean, “HE CAN’T COME IN WITH YOU, SO GET INSIDE TO YOUR CLASSROOM! YOU ARE GOING TO BE LATE!”
Well, as you can imagine, Bean got scared and started crying and then Chris had to gently push him into a scary new place and leave. He texted me at work right away and was so upset. We both were. What a scary thing for a kindergartener to face on their second day of school!
I weighed my options during first and second period. Should I call? Should I email? Should I let it go? At lunch time, I ran it by some teacher friends who are also fierce mama bears and they all agreed that I would not be out of line to send an email.
So I did.
To the Principal.
Here’s what I said:
Good morning, Mr. *****,
I am the parent of Michael Brown, who is a kindergartener in Mrs. ****’s class. We are so happy to have Michael attend ****. In fact, your school was the leading factor in our purchasing a home in *****. Michael had a great first day, and we are excited to see how his year unfolds.
This morning, my husband dropped Michael off in the car pool line, as instructed in your voicemail and the various emails we have received. We followed all the directions and waited patiently with the understandably long lines. However, when our car pulled up to the front, there were several staff members yelling at children and parents. Most notably, a staff member yelling at young children. In fact, she had a child standing next to her, bawling, who was no more than five or six years old. This upset Michael considerably, and he is not a child that flusters easily. We are not concerned about not being able to come in with him. We had prepared him for walking in this morning by himself, and as a parent, I certainly appreciate the security measures **** has set in place. But it was the sharp, unkind delivery of the message that made my husband and I concerned, as Michael went into school crying today after that outburst.
My husband and I are very supportive of all that your staff is going through with the new changes and I can image the frustrations of the parking situation. However, a kinder approach to the situation would make a big difference – especially to kindergarten students who are still trying to feel comfortable walking into their school.
Thanks so much for you attention, and good luck with the rest of your first week.
(Just kidding on the “Mama Bear” part. I signed my name. With my school signature line, just so he knew I was a teacher, too.)
I don’t think that was an unkind email, do you? Or should I have just kept my trap shut? I don’t know. Frankly, I don’t really care. You can’t speak unkindly to my kid and make him cry – whether you are a bully on the playground or an elementary staff member (who, quite honestly, should know better). I know the staff must be so frustrated with the traffic situation, but curb the attitude around kids, people! Get yo’ frustrations under control! That’s what makes us adults and them children.
Or am I wrong?
Help a mama bear out…