Thursday, August 30, 2012

Principal says School Secretary Not Authorized to Withhold My Son


Monday was an exercise in patience and control for me. I went to my son’s school to pick him up early and was told the school would not release him to me. It was an emotional day, to be sure, chronicled in my previous post.

I met with the principal regarding the treatment I received and she assured me that no instruction was given to the office staff to withhold students. In fact, because of the weather, several parents picked their children up from school early. The principal informed me that she was monitoring the weather, but had not declared a code for emergency procedures. She was baffled as to why the secretary would not allow me to have my son.

She said to me the magic words, “At no time can the office staff keep a parent from retrieving their child. In fact, the administration can’t even do that. The parent is the final say.”

Music to my ears.

She assured me she would address this with the employee in question and follow up with me. She thanked me for making her aware of the issue and told me she is constantly striving for excellence in all areas of her school. Then she metaphorically patted me on the head and handed me my blankie before she sent me on my way.

Man, she’s good.

I left feeling pretty much like I thought I would – unsatisfied yet quieted. I re-hashed my story to her three times, and she patiently listened to each rendition. She identified with my feelings, being a parent herself and promised me this would not happen again.

During the altercation on Monday, I was angry. So angry in fact, that to speak was to scream. I was panicked that I could not get to my son, yet I reminded myself that he was safe. To storm the classroom would only cause unnecessary drama, possibly revoke my volunteering privileges and embarrass my son in the meantime. Every part of me wanted to kick the door open and swoop in for my baby. My heart was hammering and hands were shaking. I was in protective mode and how I managed to keep my cool, I’ll never know. Those who know me know I don’t have an issue with speaking up.

When he was finally released, the secretary would not allow Sam to get his backpack. All week we had to double up on homework to make up for the homework he missed on Monday night. Sam suffered for her ego and I let the principal know that, too.

The whole thing is complete bullshit.

So, at the end of this ridiculous adventure, I’m left feeling empty. I did what I could, but nothing can get back the time I spent furious and panicked. No amount of “talking to” will rid me of the pit I had in my stomach when Sam scrambled out of bed at 9:15pm, “Mom! I didn’t do my homework!”

No son you didn’t. The mean lady in the office made sure of that.

Do I want to see her fired? Not really. Would I like an apology? You betcha. Will I ever let this happen again? Hell no.


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