Yesterday I went to an open house for the pre-kindergarten at the school I spent ten years attending. While my brothers, and even I, think it’s a little scary to incarcerate my boys at the same school we went to, but I must say that the education was excellent. I’m hoping my kids do not repeat the same horrific bullying experiences I had, but they’re boys, so that’ll help tons. Plus we plan to send them martial arts, so the bullies have one chance before my kids kick butt.
As I sat there, with my mom, whose Council of Women decreed she should attend to find out what was happening in their school, I thought about what I could write about as my eyes glazed over from the information overload about how it had been 21 years since they had a pre-kindergarten class and the qualifications they had to meet. I thought about sharing that information, and then I could watch my numbers plummet. I thought I could write about how my mom and I kept staring at the young woman sitting two seats down from us who looked terribly like my elementary school best friend (before middle school turned me into a walking pariah) but how she just looked too young. It turned out it was her, but how amusing can I make my weird staring become? Then they talked about security, and I thought of Bad Mommy Moments and The World According to Me.
Apparently parents are WAY more concerned with safety then when I went to school. First off, at my Brownie induction, my mom, being the leader, decided to have it at night, so that all the parents would be there. With the gate open and the ceremony taking place in the first room inside the gate, some guy broke into the office down the hall and stole all the petty cash. My dad secured the scene like the cop he was, and my mom alerted the priests, called 911, telling the operator she didn’t know if the robber was still in the area. Minutes later, the children were thrilled to watch the SWAT helicopter search the school grounds and the neighborhood. Way to go, Mom.
Second, my school is two blocks from a mall. The junior highers would try to ditch and walk over but were always caught. Though as a big junior high kid, many of us asked our parents to let us go over there for a few hours before they picked us up. One year, a store or two was robbed by a man with a gun, and he took off into the neighborhood near our school. Word on the street was that some of the kids saw him running with the gun in view, and we were forced to abandon our lunch hour for the safety of the classrooms. I put as much stock in the gun rumor as I did about the rumor of two sixth graders having sex in one of the tunnels in the playground. The kids just kissed.
Granted there were two bomb threats when I was an eighth grader, which turned out to be a classmate’s boyfriend calling to get her out of school early. But then there were several bomb threats at my public high school for the same reason. (And the time a bunch of the students kickedtheassesofsomeneo-nazikids.)
Instead of keeping the gates open, an adult has to be buzzed into the office. In the office, the adult has to sign in and show id, which is checked against the list of adults allowed to enter the school and take home students. The adult is given a sticker, which all the kids demand to see. At the pre-kindergarten, the adult’s id is check again before the child is allowed to leave. Pretty standard stuff, right?
Then the parents asked about child safety and where the bathrooms are. The parents were assured no child is ever, ever left alone. I started to think they had added a whole lot more bars than I was a kid. Where could a kid go? It’s a tiny school.
Then the punch line was thrown in. Someone wanted to donate a whole security system with cameras, which were being installed this summer throughout the school and church. Um, what? There was already two cameras outside the office, so the secretary could see the person to buss them in or not. My mom and I exchanged looks. Most parents breathed a sigh of relief.
Wouldn’t it just be easier to add a retina scanner?
I bit my tongue before I could mention it. My mom whispered, asking me what I thought. I smiled. I think this will make a great post, especially when I mention the guard towers and the SWAT team. My mom rolled her eyes.
I wonder if I could be a guard with a uniform. I look pretty tough in sunglasses. Or I could wear a suit like the the Secret Service with a radio ear piece and all!