Monday, September 17, 2012
Help Me Howard: No parent's allowed
The minute your child is born, you never stop worrying about their safety. And one place every parent has to be concerned is at school, which is why some parents walk their little ones to class. But one South Florida principal said no. So one mother called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
Bobbie Tomlin: "You have to pretty much have your eye on them at all times."
The kids are full of energy and Bobbie is not quiet and shy herself, especially when it comes to her children.
Bobbie Tomlin: "I think its ridiculous."
Bobbie called us after she took her little ones to school and heard an announcement from the principal.
Bobbie Tomlin: "For the safely of the children, they don't want adults in the building, so we can't walk our children to class."
Bobbie has walked her children to the classroom since 7-year-old Jayla started school.
Bobbie Tomlin: "And I know personally that they are where they should be without any issues."
The school told the parents don't worry. Monitors are outside the school to watch as the kids come in. Bobbie's reaction to dropping a four and five year old outside? Well, like I said, she is no shrinking violet.
Bobbie Tomlin: "And I just think it's bunch of poppycock because you got five or six monitors and hundreds of students and it just does't make any sense to me."
A school official told Bobbie it was for the safety of the elementary kids. Bobbie didn't buy that either.
Bobbie Tomlin: "I have never really seen anything about parents molesting the kids at school. Every time I have watched the news, it's always a teacher or staff member."
Actually, a couple of days after she talked to us 7News had a story about an employee at another elementary school arrested for exposing himself to a child outside his home.
Bobbie Tomlin: "So it's just a really big concern for me."
At her kid's school, Bobbie says they used to allow parents to walk the little kids to class but now it's a new year, a new principal, and a new policy.
Bobbie Tomlin: "I will not be leaving Aiden, Jakira or Jayla at the front door of Pine Lake Elementary."
Bobbie wasn't kidding. She refused to drop her kids off outside.
Bobbie Tomlin: "And as I'm walking my son to class, she's like 'Oh well we don't allow any adults in the building'. Well I'm not just going to drop my baby off at the front door. Then she said they were going to call the police. And I said, okay I'll wait for them."
Well Howard, Bobbie feels more comfortable making sure her little ones make it to their classroom. Legally, does she have a right to walk them in the school?
Howard Finkelstein: "The law does not allow or block a parent from walking their child to class at public schools. It's left up to the individual principal who has to decide how best to protect all of the students. Some allow parents on campus, some don't. But the principal has the power to decide."
When we talked to the school district, they told us parents were not allowed to walk kids to class because it disrupts the class and that parents try to talk to teachers which interferes with the lesson. However, after Bobbie called us to complain, the principal decided to allow all pre-k parents to walk their kids to class. Meaning Bobbie can walk her 4-year-old in, and this will also allow her to make sure her other children get in safely.
The principal will also allow parents of kindergartners through 5th grade to come into the building to make sure their kids get to their assigned spot.
If you want to know your school's policy on almost every issue, go the the districts website. Most of your answers will be there, if not there, check with the State Department of Education and of course in many cases, the school will have the policy for you.
Bobbie is now satisfied her kids will get to class safe. Now if she can just get the little one to enjoy going to school.
Bobbie Tomlin: "He doesn't want to go to school. He says he hates school. He says they make him do too much work. So yeah, but I think he's adapting. He doesn't cry thank God."
Now, if your child's school has a rule you think should be changed and the principal doesn't agree, contact the area superintendent to try to convince them to do something. If that doesn't work, those school board members are put in office by you, put them to work.
Getting schooled by someone showing no class? Ready to educate them? Walk our way. Hopefully we will discover the solution is simply elementary.
CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:
EMAIL: email@example.com (Please include your contact phone number when e-mailing)
REPORTER: Patrick Fraser at firstname.lastname@example.org