Already Had a Parent Pitch a Fit

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by KinderCowgirl, Aug 28, 2009.

  1. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Aug 28, 2009

    Well, this might be a record. One of my parents was in the office yesterday causing quite a ruckus (the 4th day of school). Apparently she was upset because no less than 4 people had told her to sign in and get a visitor's pass, of course she ignored that because normally we run a driver's license but that system was down so they were just checking id's. She had decided that because the system we were using was not valid-she just wouldn't use that system.

    Oh yeah and apparently the 2nd day of school at dismissal I didn't make eye contact with her and her daughter could have been picked up by anybody. And I admit, dismissal is chaos - we have about 16 classes of K-2 (each at least 20 kids) all in the same area. The really sad thing is I practiced with the kids, went over the rules with the kids - where to line up, not to leave the line before they told me they were leaving - this parent was the one who crossed over to get her daughter before we even made it to the dismissal point. Yes, I should know where my kids are at all times, but that is made much more difficult when parents aren't following the rules.

    It's going to be an interesting year - I can feel it ! :dizzy:
     
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  3. NJArt

    NJArt Comrade

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    Aug 28, 2009

    ugh. Good luck.
     
  4. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    There's always one. EEWWWWWW Sorry that sucks to start off that way.
     
  5. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Tell her okay, in order to ensure her child is secure, you'll now be requiring proof of identity each time she picks up her child.

    Anything adding up to seven points...

    Driver's license: 4
    SS Card: 1
    Credit Card: 1
    Company ID: 1
    Welfare Benefits Card: 2
    Veteran's ID card: 2
    Permanent Resident Card: 3
    Passport: 4
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 28, 2009

    Not making eye contact with you does NOT mean that you didn't catch her making eye contact with her daughter.

    And the principal needs to talk to this woman about school policy as it concerns signing in. Anyone unwilling to follow procedure should NOT be allowed in the building-- they pose a security risk to every single child in that building.
     
  7. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Now personally, I'd do the following:

    the next 7 dismissals, I'd hold this child's hand the WHOLE time. I wouldn't let go until we were in the dismissal area. I'd smile and be pleasant, but if she tried to get her out of the line early, I'd keep walking as if I didn't see her.

    I know -- I'm evil.
     
  8. teacher333

    teacher333 Devotee

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    Aug 29, 2009

    Don't you wish you could just videotape these things happening like on a surveillance camera in the office, and show them at the next PTO or Home and School Meeting so the parents can see exactly what they look like while doing this???
     
  9. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    Aug 29, 2009

    Call it "SOMETIMES, PARENTS SCREW UP MOMENTS"?:lol:;)
    Rebel1
     
  10. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Thanks for the responses guys!

    She was back in there yesterday saying she sent her sister-in-law to pick up the child to test me and I just let her daughter go with her. I started to question the SIL and saw the mom waiting in the car, I know she thought she was being sneaky, but she wasn't.

    So now I'm required to carry a binder to dismissal with all the names of possible pick-up people. Oh and she also complained about the Music teacher-apparently her daughter is terrified of her because on the 1st day she was screaming at the kids. This is the calmest, most pleasant, most experienced teacher on our campus - now I think the daughter is telling stories to get some attention. The P wanted to exclude her from Music from now on - which I think is just ridiculous.:confused: And the music teacher is thoroughly depressed by the accusation.

    Anyway, it's going to be a fun year. Open House is next week, I'm sure she'll have some questions - yay, I just love to be put on the spot!
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    This mom has issues-- trying to "test" the teacher???

    I think it's time to knock this one up to administration.
     
  12. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I think I may have done this last year :whistle: and maybe let the other K classes go ahead of me for a while to make sure we all got out OK ;).
     
  13. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    Don't 'ya just love those parents? The ones that make a situation out of something that isn't, then blame it all on you?? I can't believe she actually sent her SIL to pick-up her daughter!! What was she trying to prove? If you didn't let her go with the SIL, she probably would have been upset about that also. At Open House, I would suggest that for "safety reasons" she should send a written note to the school if anyone other than herself was going to pick her up....and if there is no note, she doesn't go with the other person.... :)
     
  14. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Isn't that pretty much standard operating procedure??

    Anytime there's a change to my kids' dismissal routine, I send a note in to the teacher. It never occurred to me that this wasn't mandatory.
     
  15. greengables

    greengables Rookie

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    We're in a very small rural area where everyone knows everyone (and has for generations!) and we still must have a note if someone else comes to pick up students.
     
  16. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    "COS" kind of Mom!
    Chip On Shoulder, that is. She's acting like the world owes her something and it doesn't matter who she's dealing with.
    These kind of people will find anything and everything wrong with every situation AND it will work your nerve to the MAX!
    Sometimes it can get the BEST OF US and we get sucked into playing games with them AND then we end up NOT MUCH BETTER OFF THAN THEM.
    Just relax and do what you know is right and you'd be fine.
    Your best interest is the child and MOM can get off her high horse OR SHE WILL FALL ON HER FACE.
    A little :DPUSH from you can help! (Just kidding!;))
    Rebel1
     
  17. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    At my school, each child's emergency card has a list of people who can pick up the child. A note only needs to be sent if it's someone who isn't on the card. BUT I don't see how a teacher can memorize those names for each student.
     
  18. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    In the State funded Pre-School I worked @ in CA, the Director made sure that we got any new changes about pick up people or any notes sent RIGHT AWAY. She was on top of it & did her job well.
    Rebel1
     
  19. Windy City

    Windy City Companion

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    What a piece of work! I cannot believe that they would even seriously consider pulling her out of music after the FIRST DAY because of something that a kindergartner said.

    You should take that binder and make all of the parents sign out their children each day, making Miss Priss the last one every time. Just let the parents know that somebody complained and this is the new procedure. Everyone will figure out pretty quickly who it is. Parent gossip gets around faster than the news. Okay, okay, I know that's not a realistic idea. But I still like the thought of it. :)

    Sorry about all of this. Just remember that this mom is probably making life for her daughter very difficult (mentally and socially), so she'll need some extra attention from you. Try to make her feel like a star. :)
     
  20. 2inspire

    2inspire Companion

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    I might suggest to the admin that if this mother is particulary worried about her child at dismissal that maybe there is an unknown valid reason (probably not but it might help you out) and perhaps the child could be dismissed to the office a few minutes early so that the principal can ensure her safety as she transistions from school to mom. :D Let the admin deal with the crazy parents.

    We had a parent last year pick a child up from bus dismissal w/o telling anyone. When the child didn't arrive home the dad called the school. We called bus co who said child didn't get on. School went into panic mode-everyone looking for child. Secretary calls mom, mom says I picked her up from bus line and got quite upset with our secretary that we would even question her right to pick her child up anytime.:dizzy: She never did understand that we were only looking out for the child.
     
  21. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    You raise an excellent point. OP, you may want to take a look at the child's file-- are mom and dad divorced? Is dad (and the rest of his family) on the list of people who can pick the child up??

    It may be a case of psycho-mom. Or it may just be a valid concern-- there may be an order of protection up against daddy or Aunt Susie or grandma.
     
  22. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    These parents quickly develop the reputation of being a PITA (pain in the...) The office becomes aware of them, the teachers wish to not get their kids placed in their class, the PTO doesn't want them to volunteer...they wear out their welcome which is kind of sad for their kids. I had a parent this year who whenever she showed up, the secretaries would quickly close the principal's door!! I also had a room mom who the PTO asked to not volunteer anymore as everyone found her abrasive. I pull no punches with such parents. I smile and very firmly set my limits, enforce the 'rules' and sweetly let them know that I am not to be 'tested'.
     
  23. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Personally, I think the admin's response is a big part of the problem. For them to have the OP start having a checkout notebook just for that child is ridiculous. Either the school's dismissal system works or it doesn't. If it works, the parent is out of line. If it doesn't work, then all students need for it to be changed -- and to change it only for a parent who complains but not for everyone else is inexcusable.

    The admin should have either backed the teacher up, or changed the entire system -- not made this ridiculous compromise. If the child has special needs (a court order, or other special concern) then the reasonable response would have been to have the teacher walk by the office with her entire class, and drop that specific child off in the office, and let them deal with it. Having one system for all the students except one is just ridiculous.
     
  24. wdwteach

    wdwteach Cohort

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    I agree. Your admin should be setting this woman straight about how a school runs. They are really not supporting you or the Music teacher.
    I know how you feel. One of my new parents is mad because I told her her kid was doing well! Figure that one out! I cannot.
     
  25. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Thanks so much for your responses! You guys made some very valid points.

    When talking to the administration and raising the point that all the paperwork that says who is allowed to pick up is kept in the office, their response was, just ask the child if they know this person. I do think our dismissal system is flawed, but like Rainstorm said if it's the system that needs to be changed, then change it, don't make a change for one parent.

    There is no custody battle or anything for the child. The child transferred in from private school and I think mom is just used to being the "customer" and getting her way. The admin said this crop of parents is extremely safety conscious (although she is the one who refused to sign in that day and get a badge). We have 6 Kinder classes and where she came from had 1-she probably got used to that individual attention.

    In talking to the music teacher, I don't even think she was the one the child was scared of. She said one of the aides had to come in because a child threw up and they didn't even know whose class she was in (1st day of school). So this parents complained to the P without even getting all the details and had the music teacher very upset over it (I don't think anyone has ever lodged a complaint against her before). I do feel badly for the kid - what a role model to aspire to.
     
  26. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Kinder,
    You may have hit the nail on the head.... because of the economy, we are getting a lot of students who used to be in private school, but who just can't afford it anymore. Their parents often come into our school with a huge chip on their shoulders. They wanted a particular private school and are very disappointed they can't give what they perceive as "the best" to their child. In their minds, they are "settling" for public school and are not too thrilled about it. When a parent comes to your school already disappointed in the choice, it is hard to please them. It isn't a reflection on you, or the music teacher. And while we can all understand where the parent is coming from, it doesn't make things any easier for you. THis is why your admin needs to step-up. Obviously, they aren't going to. I'm sorry you are in that situation. You certainly aren't alone. I think many of us are in that situation.

    Hang in there. "Kill her with kindness" and hope her disappointment fades and she begins to find joy in small things. That's really the best you can do.

    Don't let her steal your joy, as I tell my students. You are the only one who can let that happen.
     
  27. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Great advice as always Rainstorm.

    And Happy Birthday, by the way!
     
  28. allyd

    allyd Rookie

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    What happens when you are not there? I used to sub all of the time in Kindergarten and the only thing I had to go on was the sign hanging inside the car! And lots of prayer that the child would know better than to go with someone that they did not know!
     
  29. jeifer

    jeifer Rookie

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    I've had only 2 parents complain about me (lucky for me :)). Both times, the admin KNEW that their claims weren't true because I am very soft spoken and always smiling. They said I was always mean looking and yelling at the kids all day long. One mom actually came in and observed me and actually apologized at the end of the day. That was last year and they were coming from a private school.

    I agree that I don't think your admin is showing suppport for you or the music teacher which would be annoying. I'm glad this year I don't seem to have any parents like that.
     
  30. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I made a spreadsheet with the kids' names and listed everyone on their emergency card so if I didn't recognize the person, I could check their id and send the kids on their way. I laminated my chart and used a marker for my check out until I had a parent who would come back three days later and asked who picked up little Suzy that day so I made a paper copy for each day and kept them for documentation.
     
  31. emmakate218

    emmakate218 Connoisseur

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    There's always one...
     

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