Dr. Phil on School Dismissal

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by KinderCowgirl, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jul 12, 2008

    Anyone watch Dr. Phil yesterday? It might have been a rerun, I never get to watch the show. He had 2 families who had the school release their child to a non-family member. One was a private school where the child was actually abducted by a predator - he went to the office and signed the child out. Thankfully, they rescued her and she was fine.

    The other was actually humorous (the child was fine) a grandparent went to pick up his grandchild on a bike. He has 50 grandchildren and recognized the boy's jacket. The paraprofessional knew someone else was supposed to pick up the child (Mom just had a baby) and told the child to go with him. He got the child home and his wife said "Dang honey, you've picked up the wrong kid!" The child was returned to the school unharmed.

    This is one of my worst fears. Our dismissal point is so confusing with lines of classes everywhere. Dr.Phil asked why the teachers don't check I.D. - well, half the time we don't know what the i.d. is supposed to say. The parent will say his Aunt is picking him up. Or an aide will be helping dismiss and I won't see who a child went with. Anyway it was a wake-up call for teachers and parents to talk to their kids. The child had never been picked up on a bike before and didn't know the man, but went willingly.
     
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  3. shasha379

    shasha379 Devotee

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    No one is allowed to pick up a student unless they have a pic id and their name is listed on a check out card. If not we call the parent and let them know someone is trying to check out student. Parent has to either come themselves, or send a fax that contains written permission for the child to leave with that person. Some schools in my district even have car passes(we don't :mad:) the person picking the up the child must also have their car passes in hand in order for the child to leave with them. Before I started teaching I transported my little brother to school each day. One day I picked him up in a friend's car, and did not have my car pass. I had to go to office and go through the whole nine yards, even though the same person put him in my car everyday. I didn't mind though, because it let me know how safe he was.
     
  4. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    I saw Dr. Phil yesterday and it was very disturbing. What disturbed me most is that the district was very easy going about what happened. UGH! They really irritated me and Dr. Phil let them have it.
    At our school, a child isn't allowed to go with anyone who is not on their green emergency card and typically this goes very well at the beginning of the year but with playdates and etc. it gets out of control! if the child doesn't have a signed note from the parent regarding the playdate with a date on it, i am simply not letting them go this year!!! So scary...
     
  5. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I saw the show and it was really scary. I think my school does a good job, but it's easier in a small school. It just seems like an accident waiting to happen in huge environments. And it could happen so easily in all the confusion of kids going home with others, carpooling, parents being busy and sending someone else, etc.
     
  6. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    I saw the show and I am now forced to be more up on my game after watching it! I know that for sure!:(
     
  7. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    I can't tell you how many times a school year we have to make uncomfortable choices like this. Someone comes to pick up a child. We look it up on the computer. The student's address and phone number are out-of-date (parents provide this to us -- it is only as good as what they provide.) We have no way to call them to find out if the note is real.

    Personally, I leave the decision up to my administrator if I can't verify who the person is.

    I ALWAYS ask a child, "Is this someone who you know?" "Is this someone you are usually allowed to go with?" If they don't say "yes" to both questions, I don't care what the note says...I call home or have an administrator deal with it.
     
  8. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    I've been in this situation and when this happens, I usually tell the person picking up the child to call the mom on the phone so the mom or dad can verbally verify the pick up. (I try to keep my cell phone in my pocket for situations like these).Each time, the parents have verified the pick up but I always remind them about the school policy and I will not release the child again unless the person is on the list. But still, it's not worth it to go through this and put your job in jeopardy. I'm glad Dr.Phil decided to draw attention to this problem. It reminds us to always put the child's safety first even if it means taking a walk to the principals office to give the problem to them.
     
  9. MissMaurie

    MissMaurie Companion

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    I thought the same thing when I watched this yesterday. During school hours, things are fine because they are very strict about IDs and notes, etc. However, when car riders are being picked up there are 10 different teachers loading kids into cars. We have the signs that parents display in their window to help us quickly identify cars, but when someone new picks them up they don't always have these. I wait inside with my students and someone comes to the door to call a kid out. I don't always see who they go with. I really want to be more proactive about walking outside and speaking to the person that is getting the child. However, this isn't always feasible with after school duty.
     
  10. MsMaggs

    MsMaggs Comrade

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    Jul 13, 2008

    This thread reminded me of something disturbing that happend to me at the end of this year. I was filling out Cum folders for all of the students and briefly thumbed through one of my student's file's contents. This was one of my best students and I had never needed to look at her file once school started, but I REALLY wish I would have looked at her file at some point throughout the year because I found a really important letter from the students mother. The letter stated that the student's father (who the student didn't even know and had never been involved in their life) was threatening to take this student and the mother wanted to be sure that all staff members knew to only release the student to her mother, aunt, or grandmother. I was NEVER informed of this letter or anything about this incident! I checked the date of the letter and it was exactly one week after I had started teaching there! How could they not have told her teacher!!! If the person had tried to contact her at school and told me he was her father I would have allowed him to see her, because I didn't know any better. When I think about it, I'm sure that this student would have made it very clear that she didn't know the person, but it still made me very angry, I should have been informed immediately!
     
  11. Erin Elizabeth

    Erin Elizabeth Groupie

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    Jul 13, 2008

    I had two students last year that had similar situations. They had actual court documents on file. What was frustrating for me is that one of the students would get picked up by different relatives all the time, (they were all on the emergency card, but I'm not kidding, there were about 6 different people) and it was really hard to keep track of who was who. One time during the year, a man came to pick up this child who WAS on the card, but I'd never seen before. What a mess.
     
  12. forkids

    forkids Cohort

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    I think every school should do a safety program with the students to teach them about keeping safe. I would include teaching them NOT to go with strangers and to tell someone if a stranger tries to pick them up, among other things. Unfortunately, not all parents seem to be teaching children these basic safety facts.
     
  13. teach_each1

    teach_each1 Comrade

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    I wonder about car duty too...I had to fill in as a caller for car duty this year (and I'll have that role next year), we have parents put signs in their window or I just ask but I have no way of verifying.
     
  14. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    I think our school is REALLY lax about this, and I wish they weren't. I've watched day after day when a person shows up in the office and says "I'm here for Lulu Jones" and the office staff says "Sign her out in the book." They ask who's class the student is in, and call for her on the intercom "Send Lulu down to the office, ready to go home." As a teacher, I have no idea who is there to pick Lulu up. Often, the parent meets the child at the bottom of the stairs, not actually in the office, so if the child objected to going with the adult, there would be nobody there to help.

    The office staff doesn't ask who the person is. They don't ask to see ID. They don't get out Lulu's file to see who is allowed to pick her up. They just say "Sign the book" and then they call the classroom on the intercom.

    Now maybe they actually know all of the parents, but I doubt this. We are a large school. I'm sure they know many of them, but not all of them.

    It is scary.
     
  15. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    I get overly protective of my students and parents get mad at us yet I'd rather have a parent mad at me than a child abducted.

    My son's old school was very, very laid back about the dismissal thing. I am so glad he'll be at my school next year.
     
  16. Chef Dave

    Chef Dave Companion

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    I haven't watched Dr. Phil ever since one of his staff members bailed out the leader of the group of cheerleaders who assaulted a girl in Florida. As you may remember, the cheerleaders wanted to post the video on YouTube.

    It was the original intent of the Dr. Phil show to have an exclusive interview with this girl on national TV. The interview was canceled due to public outrage.

    I was disturbed by this blatant attempt to increase show ratings.
     
  17. adventuresofJ

    adventuresofJ Comrade

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    Jul 13, 2008

    In order to pick up my little sister... from a school I went to and the office staff knew me by name, i still had to be on her green card/emergancy card. The only reason they didnt ID me was because they knew me by name/site.
     
  18. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Picture identification is required at our school, and unless there is a note from the parent, the child cannot be picked up. Besides that, the parent lists three contacts on the child's emergency card, and still those people have to show picture ID when picking the child up from school. A lot of things tightened up with the Jessica Lunsford Act.
     
  19. BethMI

    BethMI Cohort

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    I had a student whose parents were going through an awful divorce-very messy. Splitting the kids up between them, etc. Finally dad got a court order that said he had the boy (my student) and that mom couldn't come within so many feet of him or her ex. I knew about this. She came into school, into my room. I called the office and told them that they needed to call the police (our call of action for this particular situation) only for them to inform me that she now is allowed, as of a couple days ago-HELLO, why didn't dad tell me this, or the office when they got the written court consent??? She told me later that I turned white as a ghost when she came in. Uh, yeah, I had never had to call cops on a parent before. Apparently dad lifted the court order and she could see the kid..
     
  20. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 14, 2008

    Dr Phil is an idiot...Why don't we check ID? Because my school in particular releases nearly 600 kids at 3:10 everyday. We can't possibly check ID of each pick up... The Ks and the first graders are watched/handed over by their teachers to whoever is picking them up, but 2-4 is out there looking for their grown-ups...I do traffic duty and scoop up the stragglers everyday, the ones who havent been picked up or who don't see their rides. I require notes from parents regarding changes in how a child in going home so I can remind the child. We've also had bad divorce cases, child custody issues where we CAN'T let a kid go with a specified parent, etc but that's on a case by case basis. Kids who are picked up early are dismissed by the office who checks id, notes from home, etc.
     
  21. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    But this child was picked up at after-care, closer to 5:00.
     
  22. Ms. I

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    This daily issue is a frustrating & worrisome mess alright. I've been a sub & at times & I worry about how that particular school's dismissal method is, but I've fortunately taught special ed in a pull-out method, so I never had to worry about dismissing the kids, thank God!

    But I tell you, there's still a lot of schools out there where when the bell rings, the kids are just let loose like a herd of cattle going every which way.
     
  23. Lindsay.Lou

    Lindsay.Lou Companion

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    Sheesh. I remember when I was a kid (I always went to Catholic school) it was super strict.
     
  24. Chef Dave

    Chef Dave Companion

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    You make a good point.

    It's one thing for an adult to come to the school office to pick up a kid ... but come dismissal time, we have to assume that kids are leaving with their parents or guardians.

    This is where education about safe touching and saying no to strangers comes in.

    We have to teach kids how to shout, "NO" when a total stranger offers to give them a ride.

    Schools are not prisons where everyone is carded before entering or leaving. It's simply not practical to do this at the end of the day when hundreds of kids are waiting for a ride or for an adult to walk them home.
     
  25. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    You're right!! I can think of tons of times when the office has called me on the phone to tell me to send a student down for dismissal. They'll even say "someone" is here to pick up the child or most of the time they will say nothing at all. I never see who's there to take the child home and it makes me wonder if the office staff really stops for EVERY person and asks them for ID. Hmmmm??? Especially when there are 20 people standing at the desk asking for a child. Do they really take the time???
     
  26. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 14, 2008

    EEEK- how many kids are after-care watching? yea, that was a mistake...:eek:

    Funny story- there was a first grade class in my building in which there was 2 kids named Brandon Kim (!!). Little Johnny had a note that he was going home with Brandon- he went home with the wrong one!!:haha:
     

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