Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Who Does She Think She Is?

OK. I was pissed off today. I'm over it right now, but at the time...I WAS REALLY PISSED!!! Let me elaborate.....

Ever since school started, My daughter's gifted program has been sending home a flyer about a field trip to a "Pathfinder" camp to learn team building. The first incarnation of this trip started out as an OVERNIGHT trip, OUT OF THE COUNTY, at a cost of $100+!!! Um...... no. I am not comfortable having my daughter, my 12 year old daughter, out of county on an overnight trip. Sorry. I must not have been the only parent with this concern because the next incarnation of the trip became a 13 hour trip for the day to the same place for a forced donation of $35. Still out of county, and this time the flyer and permission slip came with a VERY alarming liability waiver from the "Pathfinder" camp that needed notarizing and several signatures! (The standard "We are not responsible for broken limbs, head injuries, gaping wounds incurred from participation", etc...) WTF is that all about?!? Once again....um, no. This isn't for a grade, there is no tie in with physics or science class, it is just a trip to go climb trees and do the trust fall thing. Add that to the fact that Rebecca brought home a "D" in Dance Class, and there you have a formula for not getting to go on a non-essential firld trip.

Enter pushy teacher.

Rebecca's Teacher calls me even before I get back from walking my two youngest to school. She leaves a long message about how she was checking on whether it was true that we weren't letting Rebecca participate in the field trip and would I please return her call so we could discuss it? OK. I returned her call and after a little phone tag, we finally got together and started to discuss what the trip was all about, how it was a team building exercise, how it would help the kids solve problems, yadda, yadda, yadda..... ad infinietum. I expressed that the trip wasn't academically supported, (When I was in school, any field trip had to be justified by corrosponding curriculum.) and Rebecca's poor grade in her Dance class was going to preclude her attendance for this particular trip. Oh. My. God. You would have thought I had denounced all education in general and decided to have my child study Satanism as a viable alternative to the curriculum she studies now! The woman starts to lay a huge guilt trip on me about how I should care about more than academics when it comes to my child's rounding out of her education and by not allowing her to attend this field trip I was stunting her growth. What. The. Fuck? Excuse me? I am stunting her mind's growth? Um....by making her be responsible and instituting a consequence for her poor grade in a fine arts class, which isn't an academic class I might add, I thought I was expanding her growth. I mentioned to Ms. Pushy that I would discuss it with her father again and have my answer for her later in the day, or tomorrow at the latest. I hung up and was PISSED! Who was this woman to tell me I was a bad person for not allowing my daughter to go on a non-essential field trip? I waited for HHH to get home and we discussed it again, and we came to the same conclusion as before. No field trip. You get a bad grade, you pay for it. Lesson in life learned. End of story. HHH was pissed as well that Pushy insinuated that I didn't care about my daughter's education. Yeah, I don't care. That's why Rebecca's got all A's and B's in all of her other "Gifted" classes. Ms. Pushy can bite my rotund ass! I didn't trust myself to call Pushy back and HHH would have read her the riot act if he called, so I drafted a nice, polite letter stating that No, Rebecca would not be attending the field trip, Thank you for calling and expressing your interest. I'm just going to keep Rebecca home on the 12th, (the day of the trip) and we'll have a nice "girl's day" . Ms. Pushy can go climb a tree!

That is, apparently, what the whole deal was about anyway...... right? What do you think?

13 comments:

Tug said...

I agree with you, totally. Tell the pushybitch to shove it, and stand by you and HHH's decision. ;-)

Finn said...

What is it with these really expensive field trips? Lil' M has one on Friday that was $75. We said no because of the holidays, his birthday, his SURGERY, etc. Plus the principle of the thing. Not everyone can afford that.

Well wouldn't you know his teacher called today and said he could go for free? I suspect the little one relayed my "If Ms. G wants everyone to go on this trip SHE can pay for it!" I hope he didn't, but the upshot is he's going. And I feel bad enough that I'll probably donate the $75 somewhere.

*sigh*

GingerSnaps said...

I agree with you, too.

You, as the parent, have the final say on whether or not YOUR child goes on the field trip. Period.

It's your child and your money.

And Finn...$75?!?!?! That is ridiculous!

Blondefabulous said...

TUG: It's just crazy! I mean, does she get a cut of the entrance fee or something?

FINN: $75?!? What the heck was that for? I know the schools are in a crunch, but so are us parents, and this trip isn't even on their academic curiculum! It is just for team building, yet they don't take the tests as a team, Rebecca's History fair project isn't being done as a team, etc, etc......

GINGERSNAPS: Not so much the money,(although it was in the beginning.), as the grades and academic weight of the trip.

Russ said...

It almost sounds to me like Becca (is it okay if I call her that?) isn't the only one not going. I would guess that Ms Pushy was trying to get the total headcount up to a viable number.

Your reasoning for keeping her home is totally valid (not that you need my validation), field trips are a nicety not a requirement (if it was, it would be covered by the school).

Avitable said...

My school had a camp that they'd go away to for the weekend, which was a few counties away. This was for everyone from grade 3-8. It was a fun time and brought me closer to my classmates. I'm not sure what's wrong with an overnight trip for a 12-year old if it's properly supervised.

I do agree, though, that a bad grade should have repercussions, so that makes sense.

Blondefabulous said...

RUSS: Yeah, now that you mention it.... that does make sense. Either way, making an expensive trip right smack dab in between Thanksgiving and Christmas was a stupid idea! The teachers were obviously not thinking about that when they made the plans for it.

Blondefabulous said...

AVITABLE: I'm probably really overprotective because of the younger two kids being diabetic, but the liability form they sent didn't make me feel really good about sending my daughter to this trip. Broken bones? Head Trauma? Wounds? Um..... no. Not gonna happen.

Avitable said...

Those are just standard agreements. Don't worry - if they were negligent in any way, they'd still be completely liable. It's only to cover other situations and is almost completely useless as a legal clause.

cozysoul said...

...another experience I have lived through.Our school system has the knack for guiltying parents in every aspect possible...class trips,fund raisers,etc. Then if that is not enough they make our kids feel like outsiders..less than, for not participating.Some where along the way parents have been demoted and elbowed out of school involvement.I am sorry but, when did all this become way more important than family and learning? Touche for sticking to your principles!

delmer said...

What is up with getting permission slips notarized? I just had to get one done for my eldest child. Is it to keep him from forging the slip -- as if I wouldn't notice he was gone for the weekend?

metalmom said...

Babygirl and I went through the same thing, and like Finn, the school called and said there was a special waiver for families who couldn't afford the fee. Who said I couldn't afford it? She didn't want to go. Why send a kid who clearly doesn't to be there and who will in all likelihood sleep through the ballet? FOR A WEEK they called me everyday! And everyday I called the principal until the calls stopped.

And like Avitable said, the list of booboos is a standard thing anymore. (Not much comfort but still...)

pinktomato said...

heyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy - Ive missed you...just saying hello and catching up some. Hope you are all doing fabulous. It sure sounds like it and I'm happy for that!

xoxox