Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Not ANOTHER Child Left Behind!

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has a bee in her bonnet. Her bowels are in an uproar. Her panties are in a wad. She's having a cow. She has a bug up her butt. Her cage has been rattled.

Today was duty day. Which means...one child left behind. Oh, and those of you who think we have it so easy, what with our cushy hours, and our summer vacations...when was the last time YOU had to stay at work after closing time, for free, not knowing when you would get to leave? When I used to coach, I had to wait from 9:00 to 10:00 p.m. one night for a kid to get a ride. That means the kid called home, talked to the parent, and the parent must have finished watching a TV show or something, because he didn't show up for another hour. Teachers are not allowed to abandon kids. Only the parents can do that.

People, take care of your own darn kids! The public schools are the cheapest daycare around. Imagine if you had to pay $5 per minute for being late to pick up your little darling. Hey! It happens. At another school, some teachers got up and walked out of faculty meetings at the stroke of 5:00, because they could not afford the late fee at the town's only daycare center. I'm not griping about them. It is a bit much to have meetings that last past 5:00 p.m. And they did not leave their kids with people who wondered if anybody would EVER pick them up.

But let's get back to that bee. We have duty teams. No one on the team is allowed to leave until the last student is gone. So we had 3 teachers waiting with one student. The student claimed that she was supposed to be picked up. The buses were long gone. We had no administrator, no counselor. Just us and the secretary. The kid called home. The kid called the cell phone. The kid called Grandma. The kid stated that younger siblings were picked up at another building, but that she was left. Upon further questioning, such as, "Do you know their work number?", the kid huffed, "They don't work!" Then she went on to say, "The last time this happened, they called the police. They didn't even check with the school to see where I was." Oh, and when asked where she lived, she named a neighboring town, which, DUH, is not our district. Another colleague hung around with us, and offered to drive the kid home. BUT...you can't do that without permission. One of the duty team called around. The secretary called around. We clarified the policy. You can't take a student home and leave the student if nobody else is home. Even if they ride the bus home and stay alone every day. Or ride the bus to the end of the route and then walk home to the empty house.

Something is fishy here. We were not mad at the kid. The kid can't drive. The kid does what the parents say. Sometimes, you question whether a kid this age has just decided not to ride the bus that day. But how can parents pick up some of the kids, and leave another? We only had to wait for an hour today. Other years, I've had to wait from 2:56 to 5:10. Alone. That was a kid who got kicked off the bus, and his parents worked. So I got punished. After the fact, I was told, "In a case like that, bring the kid down to the office, and an administrator will wait." That's a good plan. Unless the administrator is absent that day.

So...after more questioning about who might be able to pick up the kid, and where they might be besides home, and calling information for a phone number of a business in still another town...a relative came and picked up the kid. And started yelling out the window that they did NOT say they were picking the kid up.

No wonder kids get snatched off the street every day. The thing that irks me is: "The last time this happened..." It was not a simple miscommunication. It is a recurring problem. Some people need a good hotlining. But I'm not opening that can of worms.

I really shouldn't complain. This is part of my job. This, and other duties as needed. I should be glad I am there to keep your children safe. Because it's my job. My neverending job.

The school year is almost over, you know.


Cazzie!!! said...

Teachers have it so much harder than us nurses I reckon, :(

Mean Teacher said...

Teachers are not allowed to abandon kids. Only the parents can do that.

Amen to that.

As for the duty teams, I think it's a good idea. I would be uncomfortable if I were alone in a room (or gym or whatever) with a kid for two hours-- male or female. No witnesses? No thank you. Kids say things for odd reasons. All it would take is suspicion-- one implication, a hint of doubt. Next thing you know, Hillbilly Mom's on the evening news and there's an "official investigation."

That was a kid who got kicked off the bus, and his parents worked. So I got punished.

Amen to that, too. Last year, I needed some way to bring my unruly chirren under control, and there wasn't any type of official detention or anything. LD was my only resource, and as you know, he sucked. The principal told me to start holding detention once a week, and anyone who screwed up that week had to stay. I did, and it worked. But I had to stay, too. It was like having an 8th period, with my 5 or 6 worst kids. The parents would be just as mad at me as they were at their kid, if not more, because they had to come pick them up when the bus had driven right by their house an hour earlier.

The school district should fine parents for not picking up their kids before 4 unless they have sports practice or something. I bet they'd start finding a way to get there before 5:10.

MrsCoach2U said...

Ahh, yes the old "last time". We've stayed many a night two hours after a ball game for a kid (who is not even a player but a spectator) whose parents went to the movies, casino, work, etc to come get them. I guess the basketball games are cheap babysitters. The last time we were there waiting a deputy sheriff pulled up to see why we were still there, he took the kid with him and the parent's had to go to the police station to pick him up. We never waited again for that kid.

Just A Girl said...

Kelly's daycare charges $10 for the first 10 minutes late, after 20 minutes they call child protection services to make a report. We are fotunate enough that the daycare head counselor is a very friendly young woman that understands we have an hour commute from work to the school each day. She has stayed 10 minutes late without charging just because she likes us. That only happened once. Now I call my grandparents who live 5 minutes away if there is an issue because i don't want to be one of *those* moms.

Cazzie!!! said...

My conscience would not allow me to leave my kids at school after school!!! There is after school care here, but it is expensive and I make sure I only work when hubby is not working so one of us can get our kids from school. After school car is run by a carer, not as teacher. It is 15 dollars per kid per day. That'd be 45 bux for my 3!!!

Hillbilly Mom said...

You reckon right. WE have to do mornings.

Excuse me for not describing how hard a nurse's job is on my teacher blog. I forgot to interview the nurse who was busy CRITIQUING my body parts, my surgeon, and the lab WHEN I WOKE UP DURING SURGERY!

Also, I did not assess the job satisfaction of the nurse who TREATED ME LIKE A HYPOCHONDRIAC when I spent 3 hours in the ER with an irregular heartbeat when my potassium level was 2.6 .

Nor did I interview the OB nurse who ROLLED HER EYES AT ME when I asked if I could have the other half of the ONLY painkiller shot that the doctor left me during labor with my son, since I had arrived too far dilated for an epidural, and oh, I almost forgot, I was in my 12th hour of labor with that big-headed boy who just happened to be born facing UP, or technically put: occiput posterior presentation.

"Just sayin'..." snarled the crabby, stressed-out, ugly teacher. 'So ugly even the dogs wouldn't play with her.' (A student actually wrote that about me in a note during my first year of teaching.)

Thank the Gummi Mary, you feel my pain!

Our school is just down the street from the police station. Where are they when you need them, anyway? Out raiding meth labs?

See, they have to draw the line somewhere. Not necessarily for WORKING people stuck in traffic, but for those who would just rather not be responsible on a regular basis. I used to have an hour commute, and HH has 45 minutes now. I know how traffic can get backed up. But if they would make that exception, the others would probably have a fit about someone getting 'special treatment'. Those kind of people always ruin it for everyone else.

WOW! For only ONE day! That's highway robbery.

I drive my kids to my school so they don't have to attend school in the district where we live. I can't make them latchkey children. Imagine if they were waiting for me while I had to stay an unexpected hour after school with ONE CHILD LEFT BEHIND.