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walking child to school

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ymglenn

Guest
What is the name of your state? Texas

I need some legal advice quick. I recently moved to a small town in Texas. I struggled with the decision. Foremost on my mind was relocating my children. My daughter – 9 and son – 5 would have to go to a public school. This was not easy because my daughter had attended a private school from Kindergarten on and my son would be going to Kindergarten this school year.

Well we moved and most everything is going great until now. I love my children and have ALWAYS walked my daughter to her classroom every day and looked forward to walking my son this coming year. I thought this small action would help make the transition from a small private school to a public school of over 1200 (K through sixth grade) for my daughter.

My wife and I both attended my daughter and my sons parent orientation. We looked through the paperwork handed out. One piece of paper caught my eye. It was a “contract” that parents signed whereas the parents would commit/promise to do three of six activities with their child. Although I cannot remember the activities specifically, I do recall that we already did all six. They were worded something like this.

I promise to talk to my child about school everyday.
I promise to provide a quiet place conducive to study.
Read to my child or have them read.
Verbally affirming them when they do well in school.

We later found out that this form was part of some federal program. Most likely it was tied to funding. None the less, we looked forward to accomplishing all six each day and help at school whenever possible.

This past Thursday I was stopped by the assistant principal on my way to my daughter’s classroom and told that I every visitor had to sign in at the office. So I did. When I returned the pass I told the school secretary “I will see you tomorrow morning and every morning after that”.

The school is divided into two. Elementary students (K through 3) attend one side while intermediate (4 through 6) attends the other. They both share the lunchroom. I have not been hassled by anyone on the elementary side (where my son attends). Today (Friday, September 13th) all of the fourth graders received a letter from the principal.

Dear 4th Grade parents

I would like to thank you for your patience this year in making a transition from 3rd grade to 4th grade. We know that it is sometimes a difficult process for children. In order to improve procedures in the morning, there are a couple of things we need parents to do. First, please allow your child to walk to the 4th grade hallway on their own. We know that you care about your child and want them to have a good day but it will help things run better if we have less congestion in the hallway. Second, if you need to meet with a teacher, please schedule a conference. Do not show up unannounced in your child’s classroom. It takes a great deal of effort on the teacher’s part to get class started in the morning. This will be easier if they are not trying to meet with parents at the same time. Every teacher has a conference period every day. They will be happy to schedule a time to help you out with any concerns you may have.
Thank you for cooperation in this matter.

Principal

Sounds harmless enough, but as I walk my daughter to her fourth grade classroom I seldom see other parents doing the same. I have noticed the principal and the assistant principal along with other teachers looking at me as if I should not be there. I also try not to talk with the teachers unless I am talked to. I do realize they are getting their rooms ready. I cannot help but think I am the one they are trying to stop. My daughter has told me that she likes when I walk her to class and wants me to continue.

What are my rights as a parent? At the private school the teachers welcomed parents walking the children to class. With the parents there their kids where less likely to loiter and get in trouble. I have been encouraged to attend lunch with my daughter, but I can not walk her to class. I am confused. HELP!
 


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dorenephilpot

Guest
You have a "right" to go to your child's school.

But you are obviously annoying the folks at the school who probably think that you are coddling her too much or whatever it is that they find objectionable about what you're doing.

So, you have two choices: Continue to walk her to class and continue to annoy the school folks, or make them happy and let her walk to the classroom on her own.

They're probably not going to BAR you from the school if you continue to do this walk-to-class deal, but why not just let it go and pick your battles?

I don't believe this one is worth waging.
 

JETX

Senior Member
Sorry, but I respectfully disagree with our esteemed colleague, Dorene.

The parents have an inherent right to walk their child to school, but NOT into the school and to the classroom. Could you imagine the chaos if the parents of evan half of the 1200 students insisted on walking their child into the school and to the classroom?? Also, the disruption to the school operation when these 600 parents all arrived at the office to get 'visitor passes'??

For the safety of all children, the school MUST limit stray visitors and has every right to limit access on the school grounds.

I do commend your desire to be involved in your childs education (it is EXTREMELY rare!), but for the good of the school (and your daughters growth), you need to limit that involvement to allowed activities.
 
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havenly1

Guest
I just wanted to mostly ease your mind about the letter. It is unlikely that it waas directed to you. I know in our elem school of only 500 we had to make the decision to ask a similar request of our parents. I was involved with the acting committee as a parent. I'm not sure what the layout of your building is, but our highest concern was unauthorized visitors which at the time of the day are very difficult to keep track of. So they are just trying to reduce risks. Also, with that many students the problem is more than double ours. I completely understand where they are coming from. Don't worry though I'm sure its not you.

I am not sure of how community-friendly your school is, but if you expressed to the teacher and principal (even by email or letter) how important the walk down the hallway is for you and your daughter they just may make an exception :)

Good Luck,

Haven

(And BTW kudos for being involved with your children. I see too many people barely stop their cars before they push the kids out the door.)
 
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teague2

Guest
We just recently received a similar letter in our school as well and it was in response to safety issues.

I enjoy walking my daughter to her classroom, so I empathize fully with your position! But I'm also a little relieved too -- it would be really easy for an unauthorized adult to walk in and grab a kid without anyone being instantly aware of what was happening. And in these days of terrorists and suicide bombers I'm grateful for any extra security no matter how annoying and inconvenient it can be.

My advice to you would be to let this one go. Being labeled a "problem parent" can have lots of unpleasant consequences.

Best to you,

Lisa
 

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