My operative question in this (and those similar to them) is this: Who works for whom? Reformatted, emphasis mine:
Parents lament Connecticut school district’s decision to stop lunch visits
Some parents cherish school lunch visits with their children. If work or other obligations allow them, it can be a time to check-in with kids and model good social behavior. But in a Connecticut town’s elementary schools, district officials have sided with those who find such visits to be disruptive. Parents can no longer visit their kids during lunchtime at the Darien system’s K-5 schools after they struggled with a growing number of cafeteria visitors.
“It feels like a punch in the gut,” said Jessica Xu, whose oldest child is in first grade. “I chose the town for the schools. I’m so frustrated the schools don’t want me there.” Although some supported the decision in the wealthy shoreline community that prides itself on its high-performing public schools, Xu is not alone. Parents have protested at town meetings and in online forums, saying they can help their children resolve conflicts with others or simply help them open milk cartons.
And who are the “those” people?
In Darien, where the median household income exceeds $200,000, principals felt the number of lunch visitors affected the day-to-day operations of the elementary schools, according to Tara Ochman, chairman of the Darien Board of Education.
That must have been quite the crush of folks! Ten, twenty, thirty (one for each child)? Just think of the massive crowds!
Er, not so much:
On a typical day, Xu said, six or seven parents were in the cafeteria of her child’s school.
“We believe that schools exist for children, and we work to develop the skills necessary for students to grow into engaged members of society,” Ochman said in a written statement. “We work every day on this mission so that our students embrace their next steps confidently and respectfully.”
“Schools exist for the children”. Er, under the rubric of “things aren’t always what they seem”, not exactly right. From another viewpoint, aren’t all these “professionals” are mere employees of the citizens – something that many of these educrats keep on forgetting (or worse, dismissing). Who works for whom? Who is supposed to be helping whom?
Who ultimately is charge and who SHOULD be in charge? Put it another way – who is the consumer and who is the supplier of a service? The former are the taxpayers – especially (but not all) the parents who pay those hefty taxes that fund the salaries of the latter – the Educational – Industrial complex. However, as we see here, we see that the latter are turning that relationship upside down and inside out – and parents end up being only the ancillary portion of this equation.
Children get upset when their parents leave, said Kelly Ann Franzese, who worked for as a special education therapist in a nearby town until earlier this year. School staff members may have to deal with that, she said, or feel heavily scrutinized by parents who visited every week. “From a professional perspective, when we’re the ones left dealing with your child when you leave, it wasn’t good,” Franzese said. “We would call them helicopter moms.”
We saw this event, separation anxiety, when we ran our daycare center. The problem, after the first few days, wasn’t that it was the kids clinging to their parents – it was the parents having the anxiety that parents showed when their kids didn’t want to leave at closing (I attribute this to TMEW’s transformation into being the Pied Piper of Little Rascals at times – even after drop off by parents, if TMEW arrived late, all the teachers complained because all their charges ran to her and “disrupted” the environment). However, parents understood that if the kids didn’t want to leave, they were being taking care of quite well with a stimulating environment; not sure t. The teachers (heh!) on the other hand….
And yes, helicopter parents are a thing – but don’t have to be the “event” that Kelly Ann Franeze alludes to. It’s all about the management, thereof – and it seems that the “professional staff” either can’t deal with it, don’t want to deal with it – or (as I have been writing about for years) they believe the kids belong to staff and not to the parents (back to the ancillary part again). We encouraged it – after all, the PARENTS WERE PAYING US. They didn’t have to, they could have gone elsewhere; they chose us because of our reputation and the quality of service. We worked hard to earn that reputation and their trust – because it could be lost in an instant.
It seems that government schools, perhaps because of simple inertia and status quo, have lost sight of that. And because they are a “protected” vendor. And what THAT attitude ends up being is this:
Terry Steadman, a parent, told the board the announcement drove her to tears. She said effectively banning parents from the lunchroom violates the spirit of a collaborative environment.
Ayup. That’s a great way to tick off the person that buys your product. This is the person that actually believed the Edu-hype “we want involved Parents”. Yet, for all their caterwauling about non-participatory parents hurt their kids learning (as well as saying “The needs are rising because parents are doing the jobs they should be” – that’s called having it both ways), here’s a great example that when it comes right down to it, this Consumer may well start to have other ideas of the monolithic one-size-fits-all-by-zip code factory system – and no longer wants to buy a necessary service from that “vendor”.
And of course, there are those that are the “useful idiots”:
Another Darien mother, Beth Lane, said she welcomed the change. “It was good because kids have to be able to learn how to work with each other and socialize with each other, and putting a parent in changes the dynamic dramatically,” she said at an education board meeting last month.
Yet another one that believes you give up custody of your children to The State. Sorry, Ms. Lane, that’s what they can learn all throughout the day outside of lunch. Whose relationship is more important: Teacher and student, Teacher in charge, or Mom and child? Which comes first – and which should always be first?
But again….can we label this phenomenon “the Common Core of Lunch” ?
Other districts have also wrestled with visitation policies including Beaverton, Oregon. It added restrictions last year after many families brought warm lunches for their children every day.
Warm lunch from family. Kicked out. Cogitate upon that.
(H/T: USA Today)