Apparently my son's elementary school office is up in arms about my blog mentioning them. As in they royally screwed up, I wrote a post about it, and another about how they are fixing it. So I wrote a post addressing the craziness, and would love some support from the mom bloggers out there! Just a comment in the post if you support a mom bloggers voice would be greatly appreciated! Here is the link... http://tinyurl.com/ksmm5h
I have had a similar thing happen to me and I am simply amazed! I actually had the principal tell me she didn't like my Facebook postings!!! I never even mentioned the school on there, nor does she have permission to look at my page, but she claims to know it all since she read my blog. It is a risk we take when we put it out there, I know. Look, I believe the school employees are MY employees as I pay their salaries with my tax money. If they don't like what is being said about them by the people who they should be working for than they need to change their actions. It is what would be expected of me at my job after all!
Good luck and let me know how your situation works out.
No one likes negative publicity. We don't like hearing that we're doing something wrong. It sounds like your school KNOWS they did something wrong, but they don't want anyone else knowing about it. According to the Freedom of Speech, you have the right to say how you feel. You're not being slanderous, you're simply stating facts. The school is just going to have to get over it. After all, what can they do? Hmmm...... maybe they could FIX the problem so they don't get more negative publicity?!
I'll pop over to your blog and comment in a bit! :)
I went thru a situation like this. My daughter was hospitalized a few years ago for anorexia. I wrote daily about her progress. Her doctors found out about the blog and actually forbid me to write about my daughter's treatment. If I didn't stop writing, they said they would not treat my daughter anymore.
I decided to look up privacy laws and hippa laws and realized I was breaking no laws. I had every right to keep writting what ever I wanted.
I did however, make my blog private for a few months until my daughter was was done for her treatment and then went private again.
I don't think anyone has the right to tell us what we can write.
Good for you, Jennifer, for sticking to your guns.
I wrote a post critical of my son's school a while back and then wondered if I was going to hear anything. I didn't, even though I know they know I blog. It's in my email signature - they couldn't possibly miss it.
It wouldn't have mattered to me if they had because 1. the good posts about the school have far outweighed the criticism and 2. the school is a government agency, operated by public employees on the public payroll. That makes them fair game legally in a lot of ways.
Kathy, your principal's reaction is just perplexing. She doesn't have enough to do if she's worried about your Facebook postings. Yes, they need to change their actions as well as their REactions. "I'm sorry there's a problem. How can we work it out" would be much better.
Missie, the anorexia reaction from the doctors strikes me as weird as well. If every a condition needed attention and awareness, it's eating disorders.
Since I'm not sure what the original post said, it's hard for me to comment, but I will say that it is hypocritical for administrators whose schools discuss appreciating differences and tolerance to be so upset with what you post. Never mind the fact that there's that whole "Freedom of Speech" issue in America.
As Kathy mentioned, we pay for public schools with our taxes, so we have every right to question what is going on in school. If we could afford it, our girls would be going to private school because we don't always agree with the things they are taught.
I understand that public schools have been under a microscope for years now, especially since "No Child Left Behind" was passed, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't level criticism where it is due. Our oldest daughter's school got a less than ideal rating on their last report card, and they are doing everything they can to make sure it doesn't happen again. The prinicipal called families a week ago and asked us to remind our kids that there was still two weeks left of school and they needed to keep working until the end. They actually threatened students who didn't come to the last day of school on Monday--which is a half day--with detention the first day of school in August. At some point it crosses the level into ridiculousness.
Keep up the great work with your blog. I loved what I saw.
Thank you for all of your comments. I feel that just as they "pimp out" their Dare graduates or poster contest winners to the media all over our area, I have a right to write about what's going on in the school district. Not only that, I felt I was not malicious, the postings were factual with just a tad of sarcasm added in. All in all I was very complimentary to how they handled the entire situation after the fact. I do censor myself when I write, always keeping in mind that everybody out there can read my blog. I wanted to write "the women who runs the program is so forgetful and ditzy she was often difficult to work with because she can't remember anything. Not only that, when my hubby went to the principal, she commented on the fact the the preschool program is in a different building this year. And this woman needs better supervision. When left to her own devices crap like this keeps happening." But I wasn't out to hurt anybody, I wasn't out to drag anyone through the mud. I was recounting a situation in our everyday lives and how it was handled.
ok, I have a blog called Mom is Teaching and I frequently write about my school. And, so, with that, I had to say, "Is what I wrote true"" and their answer was "well...yes...kind of...well, yea I guess so". Then my answer was, go figure, if you did this why would you be embarrassed by it.
The way I figure it, they dropped the ball, they should own up to it. In my situation, it started immediately after my kid started kindergarten. We took a week long vacation and I didn't get "prior written approval" from the principal to take my kid out of school for a week. So, they send me a letter explaining that he would be marked unexcused and one more unexcused absence then I would be turned over to the truancy officer.
My reply to them and on my blog was "ok, I don't mind that it was marked unexcused, I messed up but it won't happen again". Then, they call me and tell me the same thing again and basically prompt me to beg the principal to change her mind. I didn't and I wouldn't. So, they called me again to tell me that if he were absent again that he would be marked unexcused. This mess went on for over a week. Finally, I said, in person and on my blog, "I do not care, he had been in school for a total of 3 weeks and I basically had not memorized the entire handbook.". Another phone call and another threat with truancy department. So, I blogged it again...you see this went on for 3 weeks like this................
Fast forward and they want to take my kid on a field trip to Birmingham Alabama. But, they said I couldn't go. Now, how in the heck are they going to tell me I can't go. They said it was the Alabama Ballet's rules, not there's. So again, I blogged it. This time, the Alabama Ballet emailed me to say, "this is not our rule". So, I go back to school with my email in hand and say, "now what?" Well, we bought the tickets last spring and there's not enough for parents to go. Fast forward, 3 months go by and I can't find not one parent who is letting their child go on this mysterious field trip.
We get another letter asking which kids are going and that parents can't go and that the Alabama Ballet has this rule. So, I wrote again and copied my email from Alabama Ballet. Still couldn't find anyone who was allowing their kids to go. Remember, they supposedly bought these tickets last spring.
So, I sent my letter in saying no my kid won't go. And, they have the nerve to send me a letter telling me that if he doesn't go he has to come to school and sit with a group of kids k-3 combined that were not going on the field trip. I explained that my son had his 6 year old check-up (this was about a week after his birthday) and his eye exam (he wears glasses) on that day. And, they had the nerve to send another letter to me telling me that I cannot just schedule his appointments on a day like that to avoid being sent to the truancy dept and that if he is not on the field trip or at school, they will turn me over.
I explained that they did not have a right to tell me when my kids appointments would be made. And, still I couldn't find anyone who was allowing their kid to go. And on top of all this, part of my reasoning was because they were going with a 1 adult to 15 kid ratio (Alabama Ballet's rule is 1 to 5) and my son is very out-going and if a stranger suggested to him that he was suppose to go with them, he would go. And, since there were 9 classes going, that could easily happen that someone he didn't know could do this and not be a teacher in another grade but a stranger indeed. And, then to top it all off, his teacher agreed with me that I had a valid point and she too could see my son doing this.
As it turned out, these tickets that were supposedly bought last spring must have just disappeared because out of the blue, they weren't going to the Alabama Ballet anymore. Again, I assume because there wasn't enough kids going....duh....
So, backing up a week or so, my son's b-day at school came the same week as 2 other kids. And, we were allowed to bring snack at snack time. I suggested that the kids didn't need cupcakes and the such 3 times in one week. His teacher said no that it was fine, 3 parties was fine. (I am only telling you this to prep you for the next part).
Then, before I know it, I get a letter from school saying that the kids will be getting candy as a reward each day for reward for good behavior. I let it ride a couple of weeks but my kid simply has never received that much candy ever and I didn't like it in the first place, but I tried to just let it go. But, my kid was coming home a wild man every day.
So, off to the school I go, I explain this to the principal and explain that I know it is against board policy for them to do this (I taught in this system myself, plus I owned a daycare which was governed by the same wellness policy and nutritional guidelines). She told me I was wrong and that it was not a policy. She said that she would tell his teacher that he could have a sticker or something instead of candy. I said, "No you won't giver every kid in that room candy and not let mine have it just because of this."
So, off to the board I go. I get the man who controls the wellness policy and the nutritional policy. He verifies that it is against the rules and he will let them know. That afternoon we get a note stating "we appreciate all the help of our volunteers (which didn't include me for the previous few months as I had a broken leg in a cast) but that due to a parent complaint then they would not be allowed to give the kids candy for snacks nor would they be able to have anymore b-day parties during snack.
So, here we go again. I was really pissed about the wording of the letter but I didn't mention that, I only mentioned that the b-day parties were not the issue. And, that I had even tried to combine 3 in to 1 earlier to keep the kids from having cupcakes and junk 3 times in one week earlier in the year. So, they re-instate the bday party rule.
I'm blogging all this. Leaving out no details. The truth, it sometimes stings a little bit.
Next thing I know, they are going to the zoo in Tupelo Miss. Then, they aren't going on the scheduled day b/c the weather was predicted to be bad. As it turned out, my kid had a fever that day and didn't go to school. They call me about 11 to tell me that school is getting out at 1 b/c of the weather and I need to pick him up early. Hello...he isn't there.....wtf?
Fast forward, the zoo trip to Tupelo is planned for a later date. Three days before that, we get a note saying they aren't going to the zoo because they can't travel out of state. Now I hate to be all snarky here but "did they not realize that Tupelo as in another state when they originally scheduled this field trip?"
I blogged it. They were pissed. But, the truth is the truth. Sorry.
Next thing I know, instead of going to the zoo, a highly educational trip, I get a note saying they are going bowling - hum....math skills? I dunno but I fail to see the correlation. School is almost out so I say nothing and let it be.
I blog it all. They are unhappy. And, I've gone as far as to say on my blog that if my son is put in a particular teachers classroom next year (she yells all the time, and doesn't even care who is around, she yells, tells the kids to suck it up if they have an assignment they can't do or get in trouble ) that we will either homeschool or we will move to another school.
And, here comes another letter telling me that they can't guarantee that he won't be in this particular teachers room (leaving me with the impression that he will be put in her room just to prove a point to me) and that I can't just transfer him for no reason. Well, we have no zoning laws here, he has a choice of about 5 schools as long as I am willing to take him there. Two and three buses pass my house going to different schools, so I mean, come on....not that he is riding a bus anyway.
So, I blogged it all. They didn't like it at all. They got over it. Again, the truth stings and they never had a rebuttle, simply threats of truancy dept's and the "no transfer" policy. WHATEVER!
So, obviously now that I have written this novel, I'm sure you know how I feel about this, right?