Do these new school rules from Maryland seem extreme or commonplace?

A friend sent me this story about some new school rules from the St. Mary’s public school district in Maryland. The new rules have been created in response to the Sandy Hook shootings but they had a pretty intense parent volunteer policy before the shootings. My friend thought these new rules were pretty extreme  but I actually think our school is already doing a lot of them. (The friend also sent another blog in reaction to the story where the commenters definitely felt these rules were extreme — especially the no hugging.) Tell me if you think these are commonplace now or extreme

But first a little background, a few years before the school district passed a rule that parent volunteers had to be background checked, photographed and fingerprinted. They also had to have ID badges to be on school grounds.

From SoMdNews.Com:

“Mike Wyant, director of safety and security, said that with almost 16,000 registered volunteers, the system was overwhelmed and stopped issuing the actual identification badges. Security screenings are still done.”

Now I had to be background checked to volunteer at our church in Georgia but never to help at schools. I don’t personally have a problem with being background checked to volunteer with the kids but I would think it would become costly to administer. Since the Connecticut shooting, we now have to give up our driver’s license to sign into our school and then wear a badge while we are in the school. (I have no problem doing that but I don’t personally think it’s going to prevent another school shooting.)

With that said, here is a summary of the new rules the St. Mary’s school system in Maryland has adopted, according to the Southern Maryland Newspaper Online:

No siblings at the school – They are still trying to work out for special events. Our schools supposedly have this rule but enforce it haphazardly. In theory you are not supposed to be able to bring baby brothers and sisters into the classroom but I have done it with some teachers. Last year, one of the schools was very strict about it and it was a giant pain to get a babysitter for me to help out at a party when I knew my 4-year-old would behave fine at the event. I personally think this should be up to the parent’s discretion if they think their younger child will behave.

No hugging any child but your own — This is a tough one. I know from working childcare when I was younger they don’t want you hugging kids but it’s tough when they come up to you and want a hug. I don’t think our school has a specific rule on this. I have never been told the rule, and I see teachers hug kids there. There are several little ones in Lilina’s kindergarten class that want hugs when I come in to help, and I usually try to keep a wide separation and pat them on their back or give them kind of side hug with a pat on the shoulder.

Now if they mean that kids can’t hug other kids then I think that’s crazy. My kindergartener loves to hug all her buddies. They are so sweet giving each other love. I see the bigger girls do it too.

No homemade food – Already like that here and at many schools in Georgia. You are told this is to protect kids with food allergies but I have heard from both teachers and parents that they are afraid of some parents’ hygiene practices at home and don’t want eat their homemade food.

No birthday invitations handed out at school – It’s been like that for years. I’m always either scrounging for emails or chasing kids down outside the school to hand out invites when I can’t find emails for families.

When visiting for lunch, parents should not hug or touch any other child and shouldn’t discipline other kids at the table. They also shouldn’t walk back to class with the kids. – As far as disciplining other kids, I think that when volunteering or working parties or visiting at lunch I have said, “Hey buddy don’t do that you could get hurt” or “Hey buddy, let’s get back to work” or something along those lines. I don’t have a problem with another parent offering a calm reminder of “Hey I see you doing that, don’t do that.”

Only “registered” volunteers are allowed on the playground and shouldn’t play with other children or push swings for other kids – Our school will let you on the playground if you have signed in and are having lunch with your child. I will admit that I do get sucked into pushing other kids in the swings. They’re just so gleeful to have adult help them.  Lilina’s little buddies love it when moms are there and want to show off all they can do on the playground. They want to show you they can cross the monkey bars. They want to show you how far they can kick the ball or how fast they can run. I think parents would come across as rude and a little bit crazy if they didn’t interact with other children on the playground.

So do these new rules seem extreme or commonplace now? Do any of them bother you? How does your school handle volunteers or check-in policies now? Has it changed since Sandy Hook?

64 comments Add your comment

T.S.

March 21st, 2013
4:28 am

Unfortunate, but understandable.

gtmom

March 21st, 2013
5:40 am

No hugging any child but your own – Thank goodness our daycare does not follow this rule. My babies to toddler age children needed/needs lots of hugs. Heck, my elementary school child plays “hug of war” with his teacher. I don’t want my children institutionalized! Imagine a 1 one year old child spending the day without hugs. Horrible.

On subject, yes a lot these rules seem extreme. We have isolated incidents (unfortunate but isolated). Look at the statistics. Our children are safer from volunteers at their school over the uncles/aunts in their family homes.

Maude

March 21st, 2013
6:46 am

No these rules do not seem to be out of line. I think anyone who does not agree with these simple rules to protect our children do not have the best interest of the children in mind.

mom2alex&max

March 21st, 2013
6:54 am

In theory, I don’t have a problem with background checks. In practice though, there could be lots of unintended consequences:
1. The cost alone would make me cringe. Yeah I know, it’s “for the children”. But they are very expensive and actually, not even all that accurate.
2. I have a slight problem with the invasion of privacy issue. And don’t give me the “nothing to hide crap”. What if I don’t pass? Does that mean I cannot enter the school AT ALL? And what if it is a mistake? Will the onus be on me to prove them wrong at my time and expense?
3. The no hugging rule could also have bad consequences. Kids NEED to be touched. As MJG has pointed out here, there are children that come from truly horrendous homes. A hug from a teacher or volunteer may be the only physical reassurance they get for weeks!
4. Siblings: this is a rule that already exists in lots of public schools and it is enforced infrequently AT BEST. I agree that if you are going to spend time in the classroom, baby/toddler is nothing but a distraction. But at the same time, it seems like an unnecessary burden to force people to spend money on a sitter for the privilege of volunteering their time.

A

March 21st, 2013
6:56 am

Fulton County schools now require all volunteers, regardless of how much time you are actually at the school or in what capacity, to fill out a background check form and watch a Powerpoint slide show about reporting any potential signs of abuse of any child you come into contact with. I think it’s just a sign of the times.

motherjanegoose

March 21st, 2013
7:01 am

Things are different now than when I started teaching 30 years ago. I have also volunteered at the check in desk for MS and HS but that was 10 years ago too. Anyone coming into the school should be registered. I have been in schools from Florida to Alaska and the flow of each school is different.

A preschool director recently told me that when her daughter was in Kinder, almost 30 years ago, her teacher told the Mom, “”Your daughter is a different person when you are here and this is not a compliment.” We laughed. At the comment and the honesty of the teacher 30 years ago. Most parents think their children are angels and also that the siblings are just fine in the classroom. Many are not.

I rarely appreciated parents who brought in siblings. I typically did not want the parents in the classroom. They were welcome but when the dynamics of the classroom were diminished because of the lack of knowlege by the parent, it was a lot of work getting things back on board when you have an adult who is making a mess of things. Today, I work with up to 100 children at a time and when there are parents in the room, it is almost always more challenging. This is why I will NOT do a birthday party…too many parents.

I do think a few hugs each day is good for kids and am sad that this could be a problem but see why. I get hugs from the kids too and they are so cute.

Mayhem

March 21st, 2013
7:04 am

So happy my kids are out of this mess.

bob

March 21st, 2013
7:06 am

The invitation ban has nothing to do with security. The leftists that run many of the systems today are against invitations because some little kiddy may not get invited to the party. We don’t want little the little kids to get their feelings hurt.

Word

March 21st, 2013
7:17 am

Great ideas. I think it’s either follow the rules or don’t visit the school. It can’t get any simpler than that.

@bob – specifically, which leftist-run systems are you referring to? Any examples? Just one, maybe?

mom2alex&max

March 21st, 2013
7:17 am

bob: I think it has a whole more to do with the teachers not wanting to deal with the drama. And I don’t think it is unreasonable to expect that a kid will get hurt if he/she is excluded from a party.

Long time teacher/mother

March 21st, 2013
7:17 am

I don’t see the invitation ban as leftist. It is a basic rule of good manners that you don’t extend an invitation to someone in front of people that you are not inviting. It is just rude, not to mention unkind.

motherjanegoose

March 21st, 2013
7:26 am

@ Longtime…I agree. I had this practice when I taught YEARS ago.

Bob, you could be the one who is not invited. Or it could be me. Children do not let things roll off of their back like adults do. Teachers deal with the tears. It has nothing to do with who their parents vote for.

Our neighbor’s daughter is getting married. We have not been invited. I am told that this is due to the fact that weddings are expensive. We like the family a lot and are friends with them. We did get invited to their other daughter’s graduation party. She posted on Facebook that her daughter was getting married soon. I was curious as to whether this was to let people ( who did not get an invitation) know. Anyone? Am I obligated to buy a gift? I guess I will get something. I was thinking perhaps picnic things for the summer, as they might like that.

BehindEnemyLines

March 21st, 2013
7:30 am

I’ve heard of most of these before. I’ve rarely heard of them being enforced.

If there’s no choice but to put your child in a school where these are treated as holy writ, honestly, you’d have been better off not having children.

A

March 21st, 2013
7:31 am

If you’re not invited to an event, then I don’t think you are required to give a gift.

Douglasville Mom

March 21st, 2013
7:34 am

I am all for parent background checks. My children attend the charter school here in Douglasville. We as parents are required to pay for our background checks. I believe it was $50. You can not volunteer inside the school or go on any field trips without one. It gives me great peace of mind knowing that those around my children have been screened for any type of past criminal history. However, we all know that just because someone doesn’t have a criminal history does not make them a saint. If they have some sort of devient behavior it just means they haven’t been caught yet. It’s a sad world we live in now, so I say be safe and teach your children to be safer

Maude

March 21st, 2013
7:39 am

motherjanegoose if you were not important enough to the person for them to invite you are not important enough for them to expect a gift from you.

Georgia

March 21st, 2013
7:41 am

These rules would have saved me. Love the visiting parents who don’t think they need no stinking badges. Love the visiting parents who think I’ll eat their filthy cookies. Love the visiting parents’ hair-trigger response to disciplining other children. I had to endure the most obnoxious parents at nearly every single school gathering. OMG. These rules would have changed everything. I would have simply turned to the armed security guard and said, “Do your duty”.

motherjanegoose

March 21st, 2013
7:41 am

@ Douglasville….$50? I got a criminal record check from the police station for $15.00. I need it to visit schools. Good to know I am in the clear…haha!

Mother of 2

March 21st, 2013
7:43 am

I find these rules to be both extreme and commonplace. I’m in Fulton County and have been photographed and fingerprinted so that I can chaperone overnight trips. The goal is safety for all of the kids so I don’t have a problem with any of the rules. The invitation rule keeps drama out of the classroom, which is not a bad idea.

Decatur Guy

March 21st, 2013
7:46 am

“So do these new rules seem extreme or commonplace now?

No extreme but stupid. The government always ends up making matters worse in most ANY situation.

BTW, residents of Maryland are leaving the state in large numbers. I wonder why?

Decatur Guy

March 21st, 2013
7:47 am

” I think anyone who does not agree with these simple rules to protect our children do not have the best interest of the children in mind.

You are one ignorant person. Hugs do not kill people, deranged left wingers do.

Decatur Guy

March 21st, 2013
7:48 am

Not ONE of those new rules would have saved a life at Sandy Hook.

a_mom

March 21st, 2013
7:49 am

Regarding hugs, I dearly wish that my elementary aged children get hugs, pats on the back, tousled hair, etc. from their teachers. My daughter has had teachers like that but not my son. She comes home so happy some days because her teacher gave her a hug that day! And she’s a 4th grader! My son sounds so sad when he says none of his teachers have EVER given him a hug. Young children need affection & reassurance that their teachers care about them, so if you can’t give a hug, please give them a pat on the shoulder or on their head! I have kids run up to hug me in the hall that I knew from volunteering 3 years ago. I’d never consider pushing them away! I consider it a great compliment that they still want to hug me after all this time! Now, middle and high school is a different story as I wouldn’t want my developing daughter hugged by a male teacher. But elementary school teachers seem to usually be women & as such are mother figures to little kids.

Regarding invitations, I can’t afford to invite 30 kids in their class! I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings by excluding them so I have my kids try to pass the cards out discreetly. I’ve asked if the teachers could put it in children’s backpacks so no one would see, but most don’t want to. And there is such secrecy now about giving out class names! When I was a kid, my mom always got a list of all the kids & their phone numbers so she could call a parent directly. Now, they don’t even give out a list of names AT ALL until Valentine’s Day, and even then it’s first names only. You can’t even get their email unless you’re the room mom. So how is a parent supposed to invite someone for a party or even a playdate anymore?

Why on earth shouldn’t a volunteer or visiting mom interact with other kids? Like Teresa, I find that my children’s friends are all trying to outdo each other to show me what they can do or tell me their stories. It’s almost like they are craving the attention. I don’t imagine all of these kids are from homes where they’re deprived of good parents, I just think that’s the nature of little kids. Are we to hurt their feelings by shunning them?

xxx

March 21st, 2013
7:51 am

These idiotic rules and morons that support them are the exact reasons my child will never set foot in a public school, unless she needs to identify a perp.

motherjanegoose

March 21st, 2013
8:02 am

@ maude…thanks! I laughed when I read your comment. We have another wedding, that we are invited to, the next week. Saves me $$$ not having to buy two nice gifts. I think I will buy something small. I just thought the post on Facebook was interesting, as I really did not know the date.

motherjanegoose

March 21st, 2013
8:05 am

@ xxx…..I was in a private school last week. There were parents there who came to pick up their children. I was in awe at the lack of manners displayed by some of these parents, when their children had been waiting patiently in line. They cut right in front of the children and did not even say excuse me. Little ears are big listeners and when they hear and see what their parents to, the will try it out themselves. Manners are vanishing lately! I am always delighted when I see adults and children display good manners.

homeschooler

March 21st, 2013
8:12 am

The “no homemade food” thing is really stupid to me. I understand you might not want to eat certain things cooked in other’s kitchens but most of the time it is going to be more nutritious that the packaged crap. My daughter has nut allergies and she can’t eat anything from the bakery at the major grocery stores because they all have the “processed with nuts” label. In my mind I’m thinking “I’m sure it’s fine for her to eat and this is just a liability thing” but how can I tell her to check labels at 9 yrs old and expect she can understand she should avoid some and not others”. Not to mention it costs way more to buy the chocolate chip cookies in the bakery than it would for me to make them. Glad I don’t have to deal with this. My son’s school does not have this rule. Many of his teachers are men and aren’t afraid of eating anything. In fact, his school does not even have a “no nut” rule.

No hugging…hate this too. Elementary kids need to be hugged. Like someone else said this might be the only physical touch they get throughout the day. I’ve seen this rule in schools where the girls are out of control with the hugging. They run up and hug each other dramatically, causing a scene like they haven’t seen each other in 5 yrs instead of 5 minutes. The schools instituted the no hugging rule because the girls were so distracting. Still kind of stupid. By middle and high school physical interaction should be limited but I still think it’s a sad world where a student can’t hug his/her teacher to say thank you or a teacher can’t reach out and hug a student who is upset.

Birthday invitations – just good manners if you’re not going to include everyone than hand out your invitations outside the classroom.

All volunteers should be background checked and should not touch or discipline other kids within reason. I can’t imagine not hugging a child who hugged me. I would do a half hug, like Theresa said and same with discipline. Correcting gently is not discipline.

@gtmom..I subbed in a daycare years ago in Alpharetta. It was high end, supposedly top notch. I don’t know if it’s still there (not a chain daycare, just a private single center). I was in the one yr old room and reached down to pick up a little one who had her arms stretched out. The “teacher” scolded me “Uh..NO…we don’t pick them up unless they’re bleeding. We’ll be holding kids all day”. I was only 19 yrs old but thought. “well, THEY’RE ONE! shouldn’t you be holding them all day???”.

TallMom

March 21st, 2013
8:24 am

” Last year, one of the schools was very strict about it and it was a giant pain to get a babysitter for me to help out at a party when I knew my 4-year-old would behave fine at the event. I personally think this should be up to the parent’s discretion if they think their younger child will behave.”

^^^That comment really bothers me. OF COURSE you think your child will be well behaved. How many parents are willing to admit their child would NOT be? THAT is the problem. Also, a lot of times parents are asked to send in items for a school party/project…should they be including enough for the extra siblings?

What about the students who will get overly excited/distracted by a younger sibling?

The fact is volunteering at your child’s school or attending classroom events is not a RIGHT. If you can’t get a babysitter THEN YOU DON’T GO.

I run a home daycare and manage to find a substitute (and that’s vastly different then finding a babysitter for your child…hey have to be background checked and on file with the licensing board) so I can attend things at my childrens’ school…I have THREE kids in elementary school, so that’s quite a challenge. On the off chance I can’t secure a sub or my husband (or a grandma or an aunt or an uncle) can’t attend…well, my child won’t be ruined.

And yes, I despise it when other parents IGNORE the rule and put the teacher on the spot by showing up with a younger sibling. There’s no way in hell the teacher is going to ask them to leave. It’s rude and makes them look disrespectful and ignorant.

Techmom

March 21st, 2013
8:54 am

My son’s [private] school only requires a background check if you are transporting students or going on an overnight trip. They require you to wear a tracking device while at the school. No biggie to me; it is about safety.

As for the no hugging, that seems a bit bizarre but I have to be honest and say that I don’t EVER remember getting hugged by a teacher while in school. I grew up out west and it seems the “no touching” (good or bad) rules have been around out there much longer than in the south (i.e. paddling).

But nothing has changed since Sandy Hook.

@MJG – if you do not attend the wedding, you are not obligated to buy a gift. If you however WANT to, then by all means, I’m sure the new young couple will appreciate it!

Atlanta Mom

March 21st, 2013
8:55 am

I had a policy. If I had to pay for a baby sitter, I didn’t volunteer.

Atlanta Mom

March 21st, 2013
8:57 am

For all you folks giving your social security number out, so they can do a background check on you, ask what they are doing to protect your information. It’s probably in an unlocked file cabinet, waiting to be stolen.

jarvis

March 21st, 2013
9:31 am

They seem a little strict to me but not ridiculously so.

What is dumb to me is the Sandy Hook excuse. How are any of these things going to reduce the actions of a rampaging shooter?

They don’t register…..they don’t pretend to be their to see their sibling….they don’t fake a hug before gunning down a kid…..they storm through the front door and start shooting people.

Me

March 21st, 2013
9:32 am

@ Atlanta Mom actually a lot of times they don’t need your social security number if they get your fingerprints. At the schools that can afford it, all you do is place your finger on a scanner and it looks through a criminal database. They also scan your driver’s license as well. No need for a cabinet. I see your concern though. Identity theft is a mother to fix. As for the why..well people tend to not realize that some parents ARE criminals and depending on the law they broke, you might not want them supervising young kids. Abusers and sex offenders can be and often are parents. You also might not want a person convicted of theft over any money.

jarvis

March 21st, 2013
9:33 am

Unfilter my last post please.

Jessica

March 21st, 2013
10:05 am

I can understand why they need the ‘no hugging’ rule. It would be silly and completely unnecessary if all parents were nice people, but some are rude and creepy. Do you really want any adult who walks into the classroom to feel free to hug your kid? What if your kid doesn’t want to be hugged but some obnoxious parent won’t take no for an answer?

Phil I. Buster

March 21st, 2013
10:07 am

Those rules are stupid and will not stop another Adam Lanza. Can anyone seriously see where a psycho like that would stop to surrender a driver license and get a badge before opening fire. Would not dare want to be caught shooting people without wearing a visitor badge. Why that would be breaking the rules!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

March 21st, 2013
10:07 am

jarvis – done

I have another post popping up at noon — it’s off the University of Central Florida story – be sure to check it out. -

Phil I. Buster

March 21st, 2013
10:11 am

I can see the sign in sheet now under purpose of visit….”Shooting rampage”.

oneofeach4me

March 21st, 2013
10:14 am

Some of the rules seem extreme, other’s are understandable. I also think there could be better ways to address some of them-

1. The no siblings at school is completely understandable if you are volunteering in the classroom. Choose a day to volunteer where the baby/toddler has mother’s morning out, etc. An exception to this rule should be for special events/parties.

2. No hugging any child but your own. Well, I break this one on a constant basis then. I think this rule is a bit extreme. Now, it would seem a little more rational for ages 10+

3. No homemade food is completely understandable and reasonable due to allergies, etc. Weed brownies anyone?

4. No birthday invitations handed out at school I think could be handled a little different. Every day the teacher puts some sort of papers in my kid’s binder. Why not just slide the invitation in the binder so the kids don’t see it and keep it moving. I don’t know about anyone else, but I would LOVE to invite all 18 kids in the classroom, but my bank account just won’t stand for it. Now if the class roster with parent contact info was readily available I may feel differently. However, I have to go back through emails the teacher sends to try and figure out who is who. Plus, my son’s bday is in September so I haven’t really gotten time to know all the parents.

5. The lunch thing is understandable. I know I wouldn’t mind a parent correcting my child verbally, but some parents are just overly sensitive about this. I personally have redirected some kids, but in a loving and firm way. I can tell you, the teacher appreciated it because those kids were off the chain that day! (Holiday party)

6. The playground requirement to be a registered volunteer is also completely understandable. Now the no pushing on swings, or playing with the kids is reaching. Refer back to number 2.

As far as background checks, only if they can check strictly for sex offenders/molesters/violent crimes. People make stupid mistakes sometimes, even as adults, and the last thing you want is everyone at your child’s school knowing ALL your business. Also, this could have unintentional consequences for your child as the administrators/teachers may look at your child differently.

Decatur Guy

March 21st, 2013
10:20 am

Has ANYONE even considered looking at Chicago? Chicago has the strictest gun laws in the land and the HIGEST gun crime rate in the country.

GUN LAWS DON’T WORK!!!!!!!!

Decatur Guy

March 21st, 2013
10:22 am

oneofeach4me

NONE of your above statements would make a dent in deterring a psycho from shooting up a school.

oneofeach4me

March 21st, 2013
10:27 am

Decatur Guy ~ NONE of your statements have anything to do with the post.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

March 21st, 2013
10:28 am

I agree on the signing in not preventing a rampage. I generally help with L.’s class twice a week — I’m there in all the time. handing over my driver’s license just seems extreme and unuseful.

When Walsh went back partial days this week (broken leg, wheelchair) I had to meet with the district nurse at the school to go through his day and create a plan for him. Well as we’re walking around the school, kids on each hall are saying hi to me and then L’s class came by on their way to lunch and we’re just so sweet and the nurse said I can tell you’re here a lot. All the kids know you. And it’s true, it’s funny to take the driver’s licenses of the parents that visit all the time.

Ann

March 21st, 2013
10:40 am

New policies, such as this, that are often created in reaction to fairly rare crimes can have good intended consequences and bad unintended consequences. Sometimes, the unintended consequences can even worsen the problem. Kids being hugged less in childhood can possibly lead to more teenagers and adults with emotional and “distance” issues. Aren’t these often the ones that shoot up the schools? If a child connects strongly in a positive relationship with parents, teachers and good friends, doesn’t that help them to grow up more stable and with more empathy? Hugs and human touch are so important.

Regarding parent volunteers in schools, I do not recall ever seeing a news story about an abuse case involving a parent volunteer at a school or a news story about a parent shooting anyone at a school (other than occasional stories of a husband shooting his wife who is trying to divorce him). Has anyone? All shootings at schools that I hear about in the news involve students as the shooters, not volunteer parents.

Whenever I see news stories regarding sexual abuse, it is always someone in a position of higher authority, such as a teacher, coach, etc. It is nearly always someone in a paid position within the schools, when the abuser is an adult. As to the need for background checks, all convicted sexual abusers are listed in an online database that is available free to the public. Parents can easily check to see the names of anyone convicted living in their town or county. You don’t need a background check and additional money spent to find out that information.

I would think that parent volunteers would not be alone with kids while helping at school. Wouldn’t they normally be in the classroom or playground with teachers? Abuse typically happens when an abuser has access to kids separate from other adults. And, a pretty high majority of abusers and kidnappers are relatives of kids.

I homeschool my son. I would not want my child in an environment where teachers, other kids, or parent volunteers could not hug him on occasion. I am grateful that the teachers in his current activities are warm and affectionate with the kids, when it is called for. I keep an eye on him, in other ways, to prevent abuse. Avoiding hugs is not the way for us. Now, I don’t think that teachers, etc., need to be hugging kids all the time. But, when kids initiate a hug or need comfort, for whatever reason, rejecting a child’s hug is pretty cold. If that is a widespread policy, I fear for what type of adults we will have down the line.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

March 21st, 2013
10:53 am

usually the parents are not alone — I have been left on occasion reading a book to the kids for the teacher to run to the bathroom — and God bless her she should be able to go the bathroom!!! They have cameras all through the school so even if the teacher stepped out everything is being recorded — I do reading testing in the hallway with the kids but I guess they feel like that’s a public area – not a workroom — Two years ago I did weekly reading support for four little guys and we would go to a center room in the middle of four classrooms ( a little workroom) there were glass doors looking into the workroom so I guess they felt like they could see if anything was going on –

Ann

March 21st, 2013
11:32 am

Theresa, it sounds like the kids at the school are lucky to have a compassionate person like you as a volunteer twice a week. I have found that most volunteers, who volunteer on a regular basis, in a wide variety of arenas, are good-hearted people. That is why they “volunteer”.

motherjanegoose

March 21st, 2013
11:33 am

@ TallMom…you get it!
@Atlanta Mom 8:55…you do not!

I was at a school today, that I love. I have been going there for years. I like everything about it. I would recommend the school to anyone. A great place! The 4/5 class came in and sat right down, followed their teacher’s directions ( who has taught for a long time). The 2’s class came in with a little boy who was crying. That teacher tried to settle him down and he dashed to the front to sit down with his older brother. In about 5 minutes, most of the front row was rolling around and being silly with the baby brother. Everyone else was watching them. No big deal but they hired me to come. I moved into a stand up thing and the 4/5 teacher and I decided to move the older sibling back to sit with the younger sibling and his 2’s peers. That solved it.

My point: even the 2’s teacher did not see that this was disrupting the entire event. Most teachers, who have taught for some time, recognize the distractions with young siblings. There were NO parents today. That adds another dimension. I always preferred parent volunteers with no siblings. If that did not work, I preferred no volunteers. Maybe just me. Catlady…what are your thoughts?

motherjanegoose

March 21st, 2013
11:40 am

FYI..I appreciate all volunteers and ( to me) there are some times where it is fine to have your other kids along and other times when it does not work. THANK YOU to anyone who volunteers.

My husband went to a youth camp and helped work on the buildings for an entire week, to get them ready for summer. He is also involved in Habitat builds. His cousin is in Africa right now, on a volunteer trip. He is a police officer in a busy metro city ( not in GA) but is over there now. I have not traveled far to volunteer but have done lots of local things. I am fixing dinner for a family we know where the Dad has cancer, this week.

TWG it is a great way to model to your kids that you care about your community. If everyone shared 1-2 hours each month, as a volunteer…our world would be so much better and our children would witness our compassion!

HB

March 21st, 2013
11:48 am

Jarvis, the school system isn’t saying the rules would prevent something like what happened at Sandy Hook. I live in MD, and from local news stories, it sounds like Sandy Hook led to a reevaluation of the schools’ security and safety practices in general and that led to the new rules. Looking at the policies overall was a response to Sandy Hook, but the new rules really aren’t.

jarvis

March 21st, 2013
12:02 pm

Thanks for the clarification HB.

My wife’s school changed the location of their sign-in. It’s now in the front office instead of in the front hall (10 feet from the front office). You know….cause the shooter was going to need to sign-in before starting their rampage, and the school secratary now doesn’t have as far to go to thwart the attack.