12 August 2008

What's Your Objection to Registering?

We've just gotten Patrick and G's papers lined up for school. The way they present you with next year's schedule is by having everyone show up en masse at the school about a week before classes. This minimizes any chance to change your classes if they aren't what you need. But what bothers me *most* about registering the children for school is the utter lack of regard for the children's personal information.

They print each kid's student number, locker number and combination at the top of the paper they hand out with the child's schedule. This wouldn't be so bad if they took the time and trouble to put it into an envelope with only the child's name on the front. But no, when you walk up to the table surrounded by others on line, they THUMB THROUGH everyone's info to hand you yours. Worse still, at the table where you must "update" your information, the papers clearly print your SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER, birthdate and race in large print. Call me paranoid, but anyone with a cell camera and a little time would have a great bonus coming soon.

Thankfully, since my children are older, the usual "go to the classroom and meet the teacher" thing isn't happening. Otherwise, I'd have to see they've seated G at the back of the room *yet again* when his IEP calls for special seating. I'd have to see my kids stuck in a class with 30 other children and still be expected to learn while bumping elbows and sharing desks. Sigh. I think, since the children are older, I back off quite a bit. I don't really know if it's laziness on my part or just my reasoning that since Patrick is a freshman and G is in 8th grade, that there aren't many years left before the boys must make their own way in the world. I help out pretty well only where "parental authority" is required.

For example, last year at every school function, "volunteers" would try to accost parents to sign a form stating our children may take a drug and alcohol use survey. I didn't sign, even after about five such "opportunities." Then the forms came home in backpacks and Patrick says he NEEDS the form back. Um, nope. He doesn't. What are they going to do, test him on this against his will?? Well, they tried it!! The principal was kind enough after speaking with me to say that he won't suffer any repercussions for "refusing" the survey. Damned straight he won't. Do I need to send a letter stating that you are not to ask him any questions in school aside from his name and class team? It would make for crummy learning when the teacher wants to discuss a novel, but if that's what I have to do, we can play that game. I hope we're not at that point *yet.*

Oh, no, Mrs. C, it's just that Missouri state funding is tied to participation in this survey...


Oh, so you'd just SELL OUT **my** child's data for a little money for yourselves. Not happenin'. I think the district has a helluva lot of nerve for even considering participating in such a thing, don't you? (Then I go and wonder later why I have such a difficult time relating nicely with teachers and administrators LOL! They don't like me much.)

But just getting ready for the school year, I can't even grab the kid's lesson planner without being asked to sign some blanket statement saying I agree with every rule in the student handbook and my child understands what's inside! WHY ARE ALL THE PARENTS SIGNING THIS??? They haven't even read it yet! Why am I the only one saying "NO?" Here, they study about Thomas Jefferson and forget what the Revolutionaries fought for and then blatantly disregard the very principle of being free from an overly intrusive bureaucracy in which we have no representation! Note to other nations: most Americans are a docile bunch. We have a couple hunters in the rural countryside who will really mess your day, but you can take over the suburbs with two Frenchmen and a xeroxed permission form. Maybe three if it's a really big suburb.

You know, most of what's written in the student handbook is really common sense. You just plain old can't go to class in your thong bikini. No wearing huge chains or obscenities on your shirt. But why the rule about not dying your hair unless it's a "natural" colour? No mohawks? Makes no sense. I mean, unless they're just forbidding mohawks that are hardened and spiked somehow so as to be a physical danger. Otherwise, who cares as long as the kid behind him can see in class? And the no-beard rule? What's up with that? Patrick just says they don't enforce any of the rules anyway, and who cares? I think he'd probably just sign *whatever* and he's embarrassed that Mom makes a stink at every table during orientation with "no way I'm signing that..."

I imagine the administrators have figured out that my children are nice enough guys but that I'm kind of a mmm... something... on signing forms. D and I won't even allow our children to sign the forms the district wants from KINDERGARTEN on. We'd write, "(name) is a minor and is unable to sign for himself" on these things and send them back. Yes, they're training our children to sign away their rights in KINDERGARTEN. Unfortunately, I've seen the way some of the children behave in class and understand the need the schools have to get a little "buy-in" on the idea that we all need to behave decently to one another. But good grief.

6 comments:

  1. Please, what kind of special seating does G need? I'm a teacher, and the children who need special seating in my class are right up NEXT TO MY DESK, and NEXT TO THE CHALK BOARD.

    I do let kids choose their own seats the first day, and I don't change them for about two weeks until I can begin to learn their individual personalities, and really see what each child needs individually.

    Madame Monet
    Writing, Painting, Music, and Wine
    winewriter.wordpress.com

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  2. Wow... with all the restrictions on the internet about protecting children and what-not, it is surprising to me that schools can get away with having kids sign for things. It just doesn't make sense.

    Way to read the paperwork. I'm shocked at how many people don't read things they sign.

    ~Luke

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  3. G needs to be wherever he is least able to be distracted. Of course, that depends on where the teacher does most of the teaching and who the troublemakers are if you know what I mean. :]

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  4. Hi, Luke! We cross-commented!

    No, the internet permission form is a parent thing, but they also have the CHILD sign it. We do NOT allow our kids to sign anything. They're not 18 yet so it makes no sense!!

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  5. Tell us what you REALLY think, Mrs. C! Seriously, you've given me something to think about asmy big girls start the school year. I don't know why it took someone else for me to see what utter foolishness is taking place in this regard. I think I'll start being known as a pain in the tush, too!

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  6. Sometimes rules are silly. One year, the school had a policy against bringing snacks to school. No reason was given. The year before, snacks were ok. The year after the no-snack policy, snacks were ok again.

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Non-troll comments always welcome! :)