Thursday, September 19, 2013

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

With the school year once again underway, it feels good to gather some of my scattered thoughts and air them out.  I am down to one child in elementary school this year so when I got the call asking if I would be willing to be a class parent I had a bit of a "Sunrise Sunset" moment and hastily agreed. It just felt nice to be asked.  Unfortunately, that warm glow totally blocked out memories of being class parent from years past.

So being a class parent basically means you act as liaison between the teacher and parents, allegedly for coordinating supplies for class parties and chaperones for trips.  In actuality, you are a patsy, regularly caught in the crossfire of psycho, underemployed parents and the teachers who want nothing to do with them.  Cue Kevlar.

In just two weeks since school started I have had to hand-hold a man I've never met before through the logistics of divorce (I'm sure your wife is a bitch but could you just give me an email address where you can be reached and send in $10 for class dues?) and deal with a slew of emails from parents who want to be included on a particular class trip.  One mother even suggested - with conspiracy theory overtones - that she had been "shut out" of being her son's class parent so expected to have first dibs on accompanying him to the zoo. Hmmm ... Guess who's chaperoning the water treatment plant? Ha ha.

The best yet (and, again, I stress that it's only two weeks into the new school year) was the near-mutiny I defused when the teacher announced that due to the high number and range of food allergies in the class, she wouldn't be allowing any food into the classroom. Big deal, right?  So little Madison doesn't get to bring in cupcakes on her birthday. Aren't we supposed to be reducing the sugar and fat in our kids' diets anyway???

You may be surprised to learn that it was the parents of the kids WITH allergies who were up in arms!  I'm assuming it's because they didn't want their kids to be blamed.  Firstly, kids these days just accept that many of their friends have life-threatening allergies. As a result of this new "normal", it wouldn't occur to children without allergies to punish or blame those who do.  I suggested these parents take it up with the school principal who is a lovely and very approachable woman.  Apparently, the main antagonist had burned her bridges there (shocking) so the issue was dropped.

I can't wait to see what the rest of the year brings.  We have a trip coming up in October - maybe I should start charging ...

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