Sarah - posted on 07/10/2012 ( 38 moms have responded )
Last year during the winter I went to my kids elementary school to pick them up early. This was one of those days with wind and it was only 40 degrees outside (I checked when I got home). At least half a dozen kids were running for P.E. outside with no coats, jackets, or sweaters. One kid was even in shorts with no socks or shoes. Of course, the teachers outside were all wearing coats (heavy ones at that). When I confronted the teachers about the kids being outside in such inappropriate attire, they all said the same thing: 'it's up to the kids whether they wear one or not'. I even called the state school board and they said the same thing. Believe it or not, I actually called a lawyer to see if I could charge the school with child endangerment. And no, you can't charge an entity with an individual charge, or so the lawyer told me. My question is, why is it that the one choice that children should not have our schools give them? Let's face it, they tell kids: where to sit, what to eat, when to play, what teacher they have, what pace they can use when going through the schools, and what they learn, among many-many other things. They can't tell them when there is snow outside that they should have a jacket or coat? This was also during 'Health Week'. That's a good thing to teach them, 'it is healthy to be outside in such whether without protecting yourself'. Call me crazy, but, if I send a coat or jacket to school with my kid, I want them to wear it. I went back to the school to voice my concerns to the principle and he laughed at me and then said 'we don't get paid enough to put up that kind of fight everyday', Long story short, if you want your kids to wear their coats or jackets during the winter months, you have to call your school and request that they do not let YOUR child(ren) outside without one. They will make sure they don't if you make a request, but not under any other circumstances are they willing to do so for the benefit of the child, they do it so that the parents have no reason to complain about the school. How much do they really care? Our kids get sick because of this, bring it home for everyone else, and then people are out of work, and all they can think about is that it is too big of a fight to put up for our kids to be safe. This is very concerning! Teachers should care a lot more about the kids than what they do. And yes, I agree that they do not get paid as much as they should. If I were a doctor and had to do a surgery on a patient that I knew would not be able to pay me, would you say I was a good doctor to refuse doing the responsible thing (the surgery) and let the patient die, or would you say I was a good doctor because money does not matter, lives do? Any decent person would choose the second one. Why should it be any different with teachers? They get paid to protect and teach our kids (and not just when it is convenient). It's up to them whether they do a good job by caring enough about our kids to not care about the money. Here is a simple solution, the kids either wear the appropriate attire when it is time for them to go outside or they stay inside until they are wearing the appropriate attire. No fighting is necessary, just good old fashion common sense to know that kids are not familiar with the bodies ideal temperatures and cannot feel when they are getting colder. Adults, like teachers and parents (who are smarter - hopefully), are the ones who should teach them that, unless they are no longer considering themselves teachers when that time comes. Where are the teachers who really care? P.S. Don't forget to call your school and let them know if this is just as concerning for you and ask them to make sure your kids are wearing appropriate clothes when they are playing and sweating outside in temperatures just above literally freezing. I don't know about you guys, but this is worth the fight to me in order to keep all kids a little safer at school.