Gatekeepers

Of the people, for the people, by the people.

We are a free society in which our tax dollars go to support public services and those public services are for the benefit of the community. Like public schools.

I am fortunate to be part of a timely and powerful program next month called Technically Speaking. It’s an effort by the David B. Hermelin ORT Resource Center to provide resources, information and value to the community. This year, it’s for parents and a panel of expert speakers will empower the audience to be aware, knowledgeable and adept at protecting their children and their families online. Including in the face of cyber-bullying.

So you’d think that when I call a school to ask for the principal’s email, and possibly that of the PTA president, for the purpose of emailing them the flier for this FREE event to encourage parents to consider attending, they’d rejoice at the opportunity.

Nope.

I’ve been hung up on, I’ve been told they cannot give out that information. (By the way, principals’ emails are public information, found on websites for every district. The purpose of the PTA president is to support the school and connect parents with their children’s education. Ok, so yes, now I’m going the route of the websites.)

I am appalled. It’s one thing to protect children in a school from predators. It’s another to banish anyone who approaches the school simply because you can.

What is this big-fish-small-sea syndrome? I swear, after converting my focus and fixing a higher ideal for my life, so that now I look at how I can be of service to EVERYONE around me, my life has become richer, more beautiful, more wonderful, with more opportunities than I can count.

Why everyone else doesn’t do that is beyond me.

How could it hurt a school secretary to listen to a gentle voice, to encourage receipt of information of an important program?

Once, a parent told me that her school secretary called to say that if her daughter did not get vaccinated for the one shot that the parent had elected not to give her, the little girl could not return to school.

The  mother knew her rights. She knew that the state allows for parents to sign an immunization waiver, that vaccines are a personal, private choice, that of course her daughter could return to school. The secretary was bullying.

The mother called the school and informed the secretary she’d be right in, to fill out the waiver. The secretary knew exactly where to find it and she was silent as the mother thrust the paper in her direction. She took it meekly and filed it away.

The mother left the principal a message later that day, letting her know that such antagonistic tactis are not OK.

We are going to fail as a society if we cannot be open to the ideas of others. If we judge what everyone else does but refuse to work toward a higher ideal in our own lives.

Here’s the information. Hopefully your school didn’t prevent you from hearing about it. Attend if it’s meaningful.

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One Response to Gatekeepers

  1. Beverly Chayet says:

    Lynne,
    As one who has had significant experience in the public schools, I can empathize with your frustration. Ask the PTA to put a notice in their bulletin.
    Someday we will have to share notes and commiserate.

    I read all your blogs today. I really appreciate tour comments and expressed values.

    Aunt Bev

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