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Old 04-23-2013, 05:01 PM   #16
SweetJoy
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I completely agree about the background checks - actually that is how the school has always handled it. If you were going to be a 'follow the bus' parent - even in your own car, on your own dime .. you had to submit to a background check. I have one this year anyway, as a classroom volunteer. I have always loved the fact that we could attend all field trips - I've gone to several apiece for my older two and it looks like I won't get to do that with my youngest. Really the problem is mine, not my little guy's - he's really excited about going. I know this is just one of many 'let him go out on his own' moments - it's just harder for me when I can't really discern a 'good enough' reason for me to have to go along with it, even though I know I must.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:01 PM   #17
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Background check for a Chaperone (who is a parent of one of the kids going) to go on a field trip?

That is one of the biggest wastes of tax payer money I have ever heard of. I understand background checks for those who don't have kids in the school (i.e. Teachers, Teacher's Aides, etc.), that makes sense to me, but if you have a kid on the trip, you should be able to go.

I am the type of person who would probably show up, just because they said they didn't want me to, as I would wonder why they don't want me to show up and figure that they are doing something that they shouldn't be doing.

Now, factor in that this is Kindergarten and likely these kids first field trip, most parents will want to be there for that, so I think the school is way out of line here.

If they are worried about parents taking their kids elsewhere, enact a policy that if a child is missing, the police will be called immediately, no exceptions made.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:01 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by taitai View Post
I totally understand the policy. It makes it much easier (and safer) for everyone if only the chosen chaperones attend. They have had the background checks, the kids are divided up and assigned to a chaperone, everything is transparent and well understood. Frankly, I don't think I would want it any other way.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:03 PM   #19
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I have to say I am the extreme opposite of going along with the school, especially when it comes to my children. I believe I have final say as to what happens with my kids and take very unkindly to someone that tells me other wise. I don't understand why anyone would think someone knows what is best or could love them more than me. This particular policy isn't even about what is best for the kids but what is more convienent for the teachers. Besides we pay our taxes which pays the teachers salaries to do what we want in our schools not the other way around.
Then home-school. When you send your kids to public school, you are giving up some of your rights, because what is best for the whole class trumps what you think is best for your child.

Parents here aren't even allowed on the playground at lunchtime, or outside the fence. Parents are not allowed in the classrooms. Works for me, so my kids attend. If it didn't work for another parents, find another place to send your child for an education.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:07 PM   #20
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How could they make you not go to a public place?.
Don't be so dramatic. Of course they can't stop anyone from going to the zoo, but they are saying parents can't be part of the field trip. There's a difference there. And the best way to handle that, if you don't like it, it to not let your child attend the field trip. It was obviously changed for a reason. Why fight to change it back?
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:08 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by cmwade77 View Post
Background check for a Chaperone (who is a parent of one of the kids going) to go on a field trip?

That is one of the biggest wastes of tax payer money I have ever heard of. I understand background checks for those who don't have kids in the school (i.e. Teachers, Teacher's Aides, etc.), that makes sense to me, but if you have a kid on the trip, you should be able to go.

I am the type of person who would probably show up, just because they said they didn't want me to, as I would wonder why they don't want me to show up and figure that they are doing something that they shouldn't be doing.

Now, factor in that this is Kindergarten and likely these kids first field trip, most parents will want to be there for that, so I think the school is way out of line here.

If they are worried about parents taking their kids elsewhere, enact a policy that if a child is missing, the police will be called immediately, no exceptions made.
I don't think our school does a full-fledged background check but I have to present a photo id every time I go into the building and it does check me against some sort of database. I have to hand over my ID even though the lady at the front desk knows me by name.

I know there are parents who are not allowed back into the classroom areas unescorted for whatever reason exists in whatever public database system they are using. I assume they are using something similar for field trip Chaperones.

School entry has been a touchy topic this year, for obvious reasons.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:09 PM   #22
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Our school used to allow this.
Now each chaperone HAS to have a background check on file in corporation office which makes sense.
I'm sure there is more to it than the teachers requesting it...probably some incident that they don't want to broadcast to other parents.
That's our policy as well. Edit: the parent has to pay for the check too, unless they are a district employee and then the district pays for it.

As for change, request to be put on the agenda of the next school board meeting (been there, done that, got denied anyway ).
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:13 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by SweetJoy View Post
I brought that up ... about the zoo being a public place .. he said that parents are 'being asked' not to show up and if we did it would put teachers in an uncomfortable position. So basically ...'we can't technically stop you, but ...'
He said that each grade received this letter before their scheduled field trip (one trip per year per grade, this school is K-5). Kindergarten is the last trip of the year so we are just.finding out now.
They couldn't stop you from going to the zoo but they could stop you from interacting with your child while there. The school is responsible for students during the school day unless they are officially signed out. It sounds like the policy was changed at the beginning of the year. I can understand the challenge the teachers would face having virtually every parent coming on a trip and of course dealing with the emotions of the few kids who didn't have a parent there.

In my opinion you need to pick your battles. You probably have 1 or 2 opportunities to make waves regarding policies before you're labeled "one of those parents". I'm talking about policies like your posting about not ones that pose serious harm or the like.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:13 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by SweetJoy View Post
I brought that up ... about the zoo being a public place .. he said that parents are 'being asked' not to show up and if we did it would put teachers in an uncomfortable position. So basically ...'we can't technically stop you, but ...'
He said that each grade received this letter before their scheduled field trip (one trip per year per grade, this school is K-5). Kindergarten is the last trip of the year so we are just.finding out now.
I don't really get what the big deal is. Why is it such a huge issue for you? If it makes it easier, and honestly probably safer if only the chaperones go along on the field trip, why is it a problem for you? I can completely see why it would only be appropriate for teachers and the assigned chaperone's to go on the field trip. Did you not sign up to be the chaperone? If it's that important to you, I'd be sure to sign up as soon as you get the permission slip. Otherwise, if it really bothers you, I suppose you could just take your kid to the zoo on your own???

Honestly, I've never heard of other parents (not assigned chaperones) going on field trips. I actually just went on a field trip with my dd's kindergarten class to the zoo today. Let's say some parents show up...so then who's responsible for the child??? I completely understand how it would be a hassle for the teachers to deal with.

There's no way I'd make an issue out of this. I prefer to cooperate with my kids teachers/schools etc.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:14 PM   #25
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If you're not a chaperone, what is the point of going on the field trip?
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:16 PM   #26
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I have to say I am the extreme opposite of going along with the school, especially when it comes to my children. I believe I have final say as to what happens with my kids and take very unkindly to someone that tells me other wise. I don't understand why anyone would think someone knows what is best or could love them more than me. This particular policy isn't even about what is best for the kids but what is more convienent for the teachers. Besides we pay our taxes which pays the teachers salaries to do what we want in our schools not the other way around.
I disagree. This policy is all about the kids and their safety. Our school has also gone to full background checks for all volunteers.

Also, selected volunteers are briefed about each child and their needs. For instance, we had one mom show up at the zoo (before the tighter volunteer restrictions) and take her kid and a few friends off on her own. The chaperone tried to stop her, but she just galavanted off with her kid and a couple of others "because it was her kid and she knows best." It is against our rules to buy treats for our groups. But because she already did not follow the rules, she went ahead and bought ice cream cones for her 'kidnapped' group. One of the children (kindergartner) had a dairy allergy. Luckily the kid was smart enough to stand up to her cajoling. And the teacher caught up with her quickly.

Parents are not allowed to join the class on a field trip if they are not part of the official chaperone group. They can go to the zoo (nobody can stop them,) but they need to stay back and not interact with the class at all.

Our rules were put into place specifically because of the few parents that did not feel the rules applied to them and their darlings and that they could do "whatever they wanted" because it was their kid.

If they don't like the rules, they are free to keep their kid home and take them to the zoo on their own time.

Edited to add: Our parents must pay for their own background and fingerprint checks. No taxpayer monies involved. If you don't want to be subjected to a background check, you are not allowed in a classroom or around the children for any reason.

Last edited by Hrhpd; 04-23-2013 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:17 PM   #27
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Don't be so dramatic. Of course they can't stop anyone from going to the zoo, but they are saying parents can't be part of the field trip. There's a difference there. And the best way to handle that, if you don't like it, it to not let your child attend the field trip. It was obviously changed for a reason. Why fight to change it back?
Lol I an not being dramatic. I also wrote I usually go with the flow. But a school will not have that much power as to tell a parent they can't go to a public place.

This rule would end up causing no field trip where I live, because of not enough room on buses for volunteers. And the volunteers were the same ones each time. Some places allowed for certain number of volunteers to get in for free others would pay willingly to help chaperone.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:17 PM   #28
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I totally understand the policy. When a field trip is planned, a certain number of chaperones are needed. The students are divided up and each chaperone is given x number of students to be responsible for. Chaperone is given the rules, the times to meet, etc. Students are told that the chaperone is in charge and to listen to him/her. Teacher and chaperones, in this day and age, probably have each other's cell phone numbers as well so they can be in touch as needed.

So, then you have a mom or dad show up who isn't a chaperone and that changes the dynamics of the group the mom/dad's student is in. A younger child will want to be with mom and may not listen to the chaperone any longer. Student could get whiny, want mom/dad to take him/her to another place, buy them something, take him/her to restroom now instead of at a break time, etc. Or mom/dad could decide they want to spend more time at the bear exhibit instead of moving on to the lions as planned. Then what does the chaperone do? He/she is responsible for the child on the field trip, so either the whole group waits or chaperone has to override mom/dad which could cause conflict.

There is a reason this policy was developed/changed. If you don't like it, don't let your child go on the field trip and keep them home that day. You can take them to the zoo another time.

And, yes, the school cannot keep you from going to a public place, but you can't be a part of the field trip and you shouldn't try to crash it. Think of how difficult you could make if for your child if you are there and he/she wants to be with you but can't as he/she must stay with the group/chaperone. Do you want your child to be upset or have a meltdown or create problems? I have seen it where parents would show up and "join the group, you won't notice me" and then try and take over the group or tell Suzie that she can run over to that exhibit when she was told no by the chaperone already. It can confuse the students as to who is in charge of their group or cause the group to waste time looking and waiting for a student.

There will be plenty of field trips in the future years and you will get to be a chaperone on one of them. While you may have really wanted to go on this one, you weren't selected. So accept it gracefully.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:19 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Tpiejg View Post
I have to say I am the extreme opposite of going along with the school, especially when it comes to my children. I believe I have final say as to what happens with my kids and take very unkindly to someone that tells me other wise. I don't understand why anyone would think someone knows what is best or could love them more than me. This particular policy isn't even about what is best for the kids but what is more convienent for the teachers. Besides we pay our taxes which pays the teachers salaries to do what we want in our schools not the other way around.

Do you follow along with everyone else your tax dollars pay for?
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:19 PM   #30
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Then home-school. When you send your kids to public school, you are giving up some of your rights, because what is best for the whole class trumps what you think is best for your child.

Parents here aren't even allowed on the playground at lunchtime, or outside the fence. Parents are not allowed in the classrooms. Works for me, so my kids attend. If it didn't work for another parents, find another place to send your child for an education.
ITA! I'm actually kind of shocked by many of the comments on this thread. Wow, I'm glad I'm not a public educator. To the pp that stated it's crazy to have parents have background checks etc.....ummmm there are MANY criminals that have children. Yes, it sucks for the child, but of course the school and I would assume most parents would not want other children around a criminal.
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