Mommies Following Orders

Sorry Readers — I’m all riled up today. Too many things are annoying me, and one of them is the story I just heard from a friend. On Friday, in honor of Mother’s Day, her first grade daughter’s class was having a tea. So, in the foyer, waiting to go into the classroom, were a bunch of other moms milling around. When my friend got to the  front door of the school, which was locked, she motioned for someone to please open it.

None of the moms would.

One of them pantomimed for her to press a buzzer, which would alert the office, which would then officially fekryeteyt
allow her in. But — these were the other first grade moms! Some had been to my friend’s house! There is a difference between caution and obtuseness, between real safety and “following orders.” It’s a difference they chose to ignore.

Do they really think their children are in danger from a mom coming to tea?

If so, shouldn’t they hire an official taster? After all, what if one of the parents poisoned the scones? – L.  

Halt there, you sneaking, scheming enemy until proven otherwise!

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106 Responses to Mommies Following Orders

  1. j May 14, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

    That would happen in my town.

    My town will also not allow a person to enter without displaying an ID to a video camera. When you display this ID, what do they do? Take a snapshot? Run your name through a database? Check to be sure you are actually associated with the school? Of course not. So what’s the point of it? Anyone with any ID (their own or not) can still gain entrance. This is not school security.

  2. Marie Roker-Jones May 14, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

    Ok, that’s going too far. All this fear is leading people to start behaving in irrational ways. This is not being cautious.

  3. TRS May 14, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    Annoying but they just don’t want to get in trouble. I am sure the moms would normally be happy to let them in but don’t want to get yelled at or can not be bothered to stop their conversation. I hate that stupid buzzer but getting used to it.

    At my child’s elementary school they have the entrance roped to make you go to the office before entering the school or jumping the rope.

    At my daughters’ Middle School I literally saw office staff run down a young man that did not go to the office first to sign in. He was there for basketball practice and it was after school.

  4. Eileen May 14, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

    It’s all about liability. It’s unfortunate, but it’s hard to know what parents have been told or communicated about school policies. If circumventing whatever the system is puts the school in an unfavorable light or circumstance, then perhaps they did the correct thing. It’s unfortunate isn’t it? But I’m not sure who you are upset with, the school or the parents that were following school policy?

    I work for a very large corporation, but work remotely from home. Recently I had to go into one of the large office bldgs. In the past, there was no security “desk” in the lobby, but this time there was. It was a day I’d taken off and was picking something up. I brought my husband along and when we tried to enter together, security insisted he stop to fill out the visitor info. We didn’t bother, I just told him to wait in the lobby. Similar circumstance to the above, I am an employee in good standing but could not escort my own husband to pick something up.

  5. Eileen May 14, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

    ^Should have added to above…I have a badge/ID card that unlocks the doors.

  6. Leslie May 14, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

    We are being conditioned never to think with policies like this.

  7. Cin May 14, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

    “Annoying but they just don’t want to get in trouble.”

    This attitude, only amplified, is why so many Jews were murdered in WW2. People knew about it, but were afraid to say anything for fear, at first, of public censure — and then, as the Nazis continued to become more brutal, their lives.

    And — what the heck — get in trouble? How? From who? You’re an adult, not one of the kids! What power does the school have over you? Only the power you give these people.

    If people don’t even have the courage to stand up to a school principal, they will never stand up to abuses of power at any time, no matter how serious.

    I refuse to be a sheep. I’d open the darn door.

  8. Rob May 14, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

    I just learned that the school district my kids have gone to since 1994 without a single serious security incident that I know of, is going to be modifying the entrances to all of the schools so that visitors MUST go through the office to get into the building. They are going to knock out walls and lose desk, storage and work space in the office so that they can lock the existing interior doors and force everyone to go through the office to check in. I nearly blew a gasket when my wife (who has worked for this school district for 24 years) told me this because all I can think about is all the programs and jobs the district has cut in the past several years due to budget constraints, but suddenly they have what I can only assume will be millions of dollars to spend making the schools no more secure than they already are. A system where all visitors have to actually walk through the office to get into the building is not going to keep anybody who is intent on causing harm out.

    Of course, the security “expert” that works for the district is pleased as pie that this is being done because it looks like she’s doing everything possible to make the kids safer. She also recently visited a new school that is about to open, and when she entered the beautiful library, which has three exterior all-glass walls, she announced, “Well, we might as well just INVITE the shooters in!”

    This is central Texas — I am more concerned about what will happen to those glass walls in the event of a tornado (which is also unlikely). Even though they’re rare, we experience WAY more tornado’s around here than people busting into schools causing mayhem, but for some reason people are more afraid of that than the destructive weather!

  9. Sharon May 14, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

    I work for a law firm and I escorted my daughter in and out using my badge on “take your child to work day.” They actually give kids badges but they don’t open doors. On the back is the last four numbrs of the parents phone number. My husband came also. He had the security guard call him and we picked up our daughter and then went to lunch in the company cafeteria no questions asked.

    At day care the kids often decide who comes in. When I come they said it is ” Mom” and I buzzed in. I sign her out on the big stars section (3rd-5th graders) and she is always signed in my day care staff. My daughter will tell the staff based on the car which child is about ready to leave. She has an obession about cars this year.

  10. Warren May 14, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    Just another example of how people will just go along, get used to it, and accept it. While they should be standing up and saying this isn’t right, and fighting for change.

    Everytime you just accept these things, it just gives them more power to do more.

    When these procedures are in the planning stage someone in the meeting always says that it is bogus, and a pain in the ass. That is met with, yes it is, but they will eventually get used to it. They know you don’t want it this way, but could care less, because they know no one will do anything but comply and accept.

    Give em an inch, and I promise you they will gradually take that mile.

  11. Eileen May 14, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    Cin, I’ll ignore you comparing entrance policy to the Holocaust….

    ….but it’s okay for some people to decide to follow school policies. You are free to judge them I suppose, but I don’t understand why one person’s response to a situation has to be the same for someone else or else it makes them without “courage”.

    There is always another side to the coin. If you want to challenge the entire policy, then I say go for it. If you want to open the door, also go for it. If someone else chooses to follow the requested procedure, that’s okay too.

    Was it too difficult for the person on the outside to just push the button to alert the office? Wouldn’t the Moms all have to sign in as visitors at some point anyway? Or does that rule also get ignored because the teacher or other Moms know you.

  12. Molly May 14, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

    Totally ridiculous! I have to question the IQ of some these Moms. Common sense and common courtesy are in order here! C’mon people, question authority!

  13. Kim Z. May 14, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

    There are policies and then there is stupidity. If you do not have enough common sense to allow a person you know or have seen SEVERAL times through out the year AS A PARENT of another child in school then yes you are to be judged. This is why zero tolerance policies are ridiculous. You have to be able to know the difference. “just following policy” is about the worst excuse I can hear someone make in this instance. I would be angry at the school In the first place for the buzzer and the other “sheep” parents for not letting me in.

  14. Warren May 14, 2013 at 2:43 pm #


    You don’t get it do you? They have this school locked up like a prison.

    Yes it is too difficult to just press the buzzer. Why? Because everytime you press the buzzer you are accepting the insanity.

    As for signing in? When I go to the school to get one of my kids, or for an assembly, I simply walk in the front door and go about my business. That is how it should be. I do not have to buzz in, I do not have to sign in, I do not have to do anything but show up.

    Your attitude is part of the problem…….simple acceptance. The school’s in the states are getting out of hand with security theatre, and everytime you use the buzzer you are telling them they are doing the right thing.

    We used to complain how we had to take back the neighbourhood……….now it is time to take back the schools, for the kids sake. Send them to school not Alcatraz.

  15. Papilio May 14, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

    @Eileen & Cin, re WWII: It was also my first association… (But I have a good excuse, since the Dutch WWII memorial day was only a week ago…)

    Obeying without thought – is that ever a good idea?

    I guess no rule or law is appropriate for 100% of the cases. It’s just very hard for many rulemakers to admit that guidelines would often be better.

    On a sidenote: I never understood this American anti-government, anti-laws, anti-whatever-was-prescripted-from-above attitude. But now I read all this ridiculous stuff that gets pushed down your throats and I’m finally starting to get it…!

  16. Megan W. May 14, 2013 at 2:59 pm #

    My son’s school has the same policy and I have had the same thing happen to me.

    What amuses me is that the office staff doesn’t even look up – they just buzz everyone right on in. But then they aggressively make you sign the log-in book. Because “bad guys” don’t know how to make up a phony name?

  17. Eileen May 14, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

    @Warren. I do get it. I do find it incredibly sad that “school safety” (you’ll see I put it in quotes) has come to this. I don’t, however, feel comfortable judging what other people choose to do.

    If the woman on the exterior doesn’t want to push the button, she doesn’t have to. If the people in the lobby don’t feel comfortable letting someone in w/o the office knowing it, they don’t have to.

    My question is really what is the appropriate “next” thing here. If a person in the lobby let the Mom in and then was asked not to do that again, then what? Would she agree, say she won’t abide by the policy?

    I totally understand that there might be people that want schools to reverse these policies and it’s their right to pursue that. But I also recognize that there is a population that won’t feel the same way.

  18. Laura May 14, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

    I had to pick my 2nd grader up from school early yesterday for a doctor’s appointment. The Sign In/Out book was all signed by ‘mom’ or ‘dad’, not a single name was listed and no ID required. I thought, that’s great!

  19. Meagan May 14, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

    At a recent PTO meeting at my son’s school a parent actually brought up how worried she was seeing parents hold doors open for each other and how she wanted signs on the doors reminding parents, staff and kids not to do that. Several other parents supported her, that it was in the name of safety so no one should mind having a door slammed in their face while they buzz the office. I think I was the only dissenting voice.

  20. Natalie May 14, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

    Ah, Godwin’s Law.

    Good to know everyone is keeping things in perspective.

  21. Ann in L.A. May 14, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

    It is also logically nonsensical. The person on the other end of the buzzer has, at best, a video-camera view of the outsider which is limited and easily fooled. The people on the inside can see whether the outsider is carrying a banned bake good, an evil sugary drink, or a kalashnikov.

  22. Eileen May 14, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    Thanks Natalie…for some reason the name of the law escaped me!

    @Meagan, that’s what I was talking about in regard to allowing people to handle the situation as they see fit. Clearly this is about perception and liability. It doesn’t mean that people can’t thinks it’s ridiculous, but I understand the pressure the schools are under….and I lean towards not making the job of the school teachers/administrators more difficult.

  23. Natalie May 14, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

    I went back to my high school to visit a few teachers and the secretary wouldn’t let me go anywhere. I signed in, showed my ID, told them that I just wanted to see a few teachers and say hello during their study halls, and they said I couldn’t meet them on school property. When I told them that I was a prior student and just wanted to catch up they threatened to call the police if I didn’t leave.

    The year before, I waited for a free period and they called one of the teachers down so he could meet me as long as he was with me AT ALL TIMES! The following year even that wasn’t allowed! (So I went in the back way through art class- that was another teacher I wanted to see)


  24. Natalie May 14, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

    You know, all of this security would make more sense if it were drug dealers they wanted to keep out. I wouldn’t mind so much if that was the reason the I couldn’t wander the halls alone (or at all).
    But I think the security measures were put in place at my alma mater post-columbine.

  25. lollipoplover May 14, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

    It’s funny, with the emphasis these days in schools for no-bullying and teaching kids to respect each other, they often promote holding doors and common courtesy- which is exactly what this preschool lacks. At a tea party for moms!

    I will always hold doors for others and hope my children do, too. My daughter went to preschool in a church and there were so many functions (funerals, meetings, luncheons) going on besides the preschool that this system would literally keep the life out.
    For her last year there, my father was dying a slow, painful death and I had to rely on so many relatives to fill in for me at these type of functions….I never needed to let anyone at the preschool know, they just showed up and were made to feel welcome…not buzzed in like an insane asylum.
    What are we teaching our kids?!

  26. Earth.W May 14, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

    And society wonders how oppressive regimes come to power to easily.

  27. Cin May 14, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

    I know I broke Godwin’s Law — I know, I know — but these attitude of never questioning a rule or a law really, really, really bothers me, because historically this behaviour increases before mass atrocities committed by governments.

  28. Cin May 14, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

    (And why do I have to follow Godwin’s Law all the time anyway? It’s not the laws of physics. 🙂

    Sometimes usual thought happens when you compare present societies to past, atrocious ones.

  29. Warren May 14, 2013 at 5:48 pm #

    This is a prime example of how absolutely mindless people can be. Out of the group of moms in the foyer, not one could actually think reasonably for themself and open the door.
    It is completely absurd that all these moms behave like sheep being led to slaughter. We are talking about opening a door for someone, not turning a blind eye to a rape or murder. If these women are that weak willed, I pity their kids and the upbringing they will receive.

    At the sake of ticking off Natalie, I bet if it was a Father’s Day Tea, that door would be opened.

  30. hineata May 14, 2013 at 6:22 pm #

    First, people, please stop maligning sheep, LOL! They’re cute, fuzzy, warm, slightly irritating animals, sure, and I have yet to meet one that could open a locked door of any type (though I have seen them jump over half-gates!), but they are a source of some wealth and a fair amount of prosperity to our little land, so leave the poor b@$#tards alone 🙂

    And second, this situation is rather like cooking crays in water, isn’t it….the water getting slowly hotter ( I think you guys use frogs in a similar analogy). This sort of security stuff seems to get more and more nonsensical by the minute. The only time I have seen signs asking you to be careful about opening doors in NZ educational settings is in kindergartens (preschools) where the point of the warning is to make sure that you aren’t letting unaccompanied toddlers out into the road/carpark, where they face real risks at pick-up times of being run over. Not letting in adults you know….totally bizarre.

  31. JJ May 14, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

    Natalie “You know, all of this security would make more sense if it were drug dealers they wanted to keep out”

    You bring up an interesting point. When I was in school there were instances of people (including adults and quite possibly drug dealers) showing up at my high school and beating up/threatening specific kids. Gangs are bad where I live now and the security in schools is not related to Columbine/Sandy hook but to keep students from being assaulted or killed by students or non visitors.

    Clearly this issue doesn’t relate to the tea party we are talking about here and probably not your alma mater either but we shouldn’t always assume school safety is related to mass shooting paranoia. Which I agree is ridiculous and a waste of money and energy. But there are legit safety issues at many schools and in many neighborhoods. Some people don’t have the luxury of imaginary fears.

  32. Papilio May 14, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

    @hineata: Yeah right! I’ve seen that movie Black Sheep too, you know! 😀

  33. LISA MILLER May 14, 2013 at 6:30 pm #

    Wow! I read your posts with incredulous belief. I am from Australia, and for all intents and purposes Americans confuse me. On the one hand you lot are putting security systems and guards in schools and on the other anyone can go buy a hand gun or shot gun or weapon over the counter.

    Columbine was perpetrated by students so they would have had access anyway,
    Sandy Hook – student

    Your kids are killing kids – not the boogey man – they aren’t being abducted from classrooms in front of teachers.

    The whole system of values over there is twisted and has no base in common sense.

    As for those mums too scared to open the door to someone they know – OPEN THE DAMN DOOR.

  34. Cheezo May 14, 2013 at 6:31 pm #

    Maybe they secretly hate that Mom. Sometimes people are just jerks instead of stupid.

  35. Karen Tighe May 14, 2013 at 6:58 pm #

    The moms did exactly what they should have done! Schools have safety procedures for good reason, and although visitors may know someone, it does not give them the right to over ride the schools procedure. I am a teacher, and have many times had to deny access to familiar people, from side doors directing them to the proper entrance procedures. If the moms let this mom in, how would security and administration have a record of her being there? Schools have a tough enough job keeping schools safe, dealing with so many children, visitors, workers, technitions, deliveries, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, gardians… family legal affairs (custodial rights, restraining orders, family miscommunications as to who is picking up…), and dealing with angered, miffed, and put off parents who seem to feel they have a right to go and come as they please. Schools love familial interaction, and value it highly, but, in order to maintain security, and an organized, structured, safe environment for our children, everyone must follow the rules… An environment where rules apply for some, some of the time and not for others is not safe, and leaves the school open to law suits regarding personal or cultural bias, racism etc. people need to calm down, take a breath, get over their egos and realize… It is really not always about them, and in this case… it is, as it should be…about the children and their safety!

  36. Nicole May 14, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

    I’m a substitute teacher. Thank goodness the kids still hold the door for me, because there aren’t enough of the new fancy key cards for all of us yet!

    What we’re buying here isn’t actual safety in either case. It’s the appearance of safety through procedures, or the appearance of safety through community. Personally, I’ll take community.

  37. Donna May 14, 2013 at 7:26 pm #

    “If the moms let this mom in, how would security and administration have a record of her being there?”

    Why do they need a record of her being there? How does knowing that Susie’s mom came to the Mother’s Day tea party protect my child in the least?

    I can certainly see a need to have technicians, deliveries, etc. check in. There is a legitimate business purpose for knowing that they were there since they usually come with bills to be paid. I don’t see where knowing someone’s mommy was present adds any value whatsoever.

    The fact is that opening a door for someone you KNOW and KNOW to be there for a specific event – Mother’s Day tea – does not in any way, shape or form harm a single child’s safety. While I don’t advocate knowingly opening the door to a gun-toting maniac, someone whose job it is to educate children should clearly realize that there will never be in the history of gun-toting maniacs one who was foiled in his purpose by a locked door.

    In fact, the failure to open the door makes children LESS safe. If even people who have been in our homes (those people we used to call “friends”) are to be considered a threat until proven otherwise, we lose all sense of community and trust. We also lose all ability to differentiate between friend and foe. Our 6th sense to trust or not trust is completely destroyed. And THAT is what keeps us alive, not idiotic rules that somehow expect gun-toting maniacs to ring door bells and wait to be admitted rather than just shooting through the damn door.

  38. Donald May 14, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

    I’m speechless. This itself is quite an event because it isn’t so easy to get me to shut up.

  39. Donald May 14, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

    The US is becoming afraid of it’s own shadow. If bin Laden was still alive, he would feel so proud of what he helped make happen.

  40. Puzzled May 14, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

    Karen Tigue will not doubt be teaching our children the importance of idiotic rules and the dire consequences of thinking for themselves.

  41. hineata May 14, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

    @Karen Tighe – as a fellow teacher, I would be fascinated to know how you manage to promote family/school/community interaction with the ridiculous level of security being promoted here. We have no such security measures, parents can wander in and out of the school grounds as they wish during the day, and still we have problems with getting parents here and relaxed with us (for a variety of reasons, some related to our own personal levels of comfort with adults, mostly related to their own school experiences, language barriers etc). If we had this ridiculous level of unnecessary security, then we would get no one here.

    I can understand it being necessary for drug-plagued and gang-plagued schools in ‘unsavoury’ neighbourhoods, but then, though I could be wrong here, how many of those sorts of schools would attempt something like a Mother’s Day luncheon?

    Aside from the above, the only reason for having even a listing of visitors in a school would be for emergency purposes like fires or earthquakes, but then in the event of an earthquake, the likelihood is that the list would be buried in the rubble anyway, so no use to anyone.

    And none of this should prevent anyone from opening a door to someone they know.

  42. hineata May 14, 2013 at 8:31 pm #

    @Papilio – don’t worry, ‘black sheep’ aren’t usually an issue – it’s only when they get the taste for blood that you have to worry about them.

    Though there is a flock hanging about my letterbox just now, foaming at their mouths.Time to write my will, possibly…. 🙂

  43. Kim Z. May 14, 2013 at 8:35 pm #

    @Karen – It’s not about rights (a compeltely overused word) there are no rights – there are expectations. It’s not a law it’s a guideline used by a/your school that should have SOME degree of flexibility. If not, then blindly following policy become paramount over actual safety. If the mother was bleeding from the head. Do we use common sense? Do we get the door for her? or do we demand she use the buzzer first. And then one day when the person we don’t know uses the buzzer and then still proceeds to do some horrible random act! Then what?? A buzzer is what makes you “FEEL” safer. It is giving you your “PEACE of MIND”. It doesn’t ACTUALLY make you safer. That is the difference you have missed and are clearly passing on to your charges and the rest of your community with the insistent need to mistrust everyone.

  44. Taradlion May 14, 2013 at 9:13 pm #

    @ Lisa Miller- I don’t disagree with you, but Sandy Hook shooter was NOT a student. It was an adult male. A buzzer would not have stopped him, nor a sign in sheet.

    Since Sandy Hook the front door of my kids school has been locked. Even though we have always had a security guard sitting inside the door in a large entry way and the school is up a flight of stairs (NYC Jewish day school). I reach for and pull the door every time I am at school forgetting I need to be buzzed in now. Usually when I do this, the guard sees me and let’s me in before I hit the buzzer…

  45. Natalie May 14, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

    Jewish schools are different. They need the extra security.

  46. Katie May 14, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

    I don’t know about that. I work very part time at a place that has a Jewish preschool.

    First off I think the danger is far less than that of the parents who drive through in tanks and do things like steal handicap spots.

    But beyond that we don’t have a Security System there, we have a Security Theater that is a nuisance and even if something happened would be useless and is constantly being made more intrusive.

    Why do I say this? Well it’s a maze to get in and out and you can only use a very specific door for each. Completely random doors are locked and require badges and the doors that are locked are completely illogical.

    But it’s for the kids? Okay that’s interesting because one day I checked the guest sign in and Michael Jackson had visited. So had Mickey Mouse and illegible.

    Oh and while I respect working woman at one point the unarmed security guard was very pregnant. In other words in the very rare case some crazy wants to do something crazy I don’t see how the security system is going to stop them.

  47. Katie May 14, 2013 at 10:14 pm #

    @ Cin I agree with you.

    What can they do. They can yell at you for opening the door and so they will yet at you. So what?

    I agree, I also refuse to be a sheep. I break “don’t open the door policies all the time”. The condo I live in has one and I make a point to hold the door open for others because I value politeness and not turning into a society that breeds sociopathy by viewing everyone as evil.

  48. Mary May 14, 2013 at 10:14 pm #

    I see that behavior at our elementary schools too.
    It’s not “security”: it’s meanness, unkind and lemming-like behavior. Those people were being lazy and rude – and have given up their role as TAXPAYING CITIZEN, capable of opening a door to a known friend and peer. What really would have happened if they had? Cowardly, lazy and rude.

  49. CM May 14, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

    Maybe the parents themselves were trying to prove a point to the school about how ridiculous it is.

    Otherwise I would be inclined to agree the other parents are just asses and did it on purpose.

    It doesn’t sound like it had anything to do with them being cautious and worried about their kids. This isn’t a case of being over-protective or helicoptering, it is a case of exclusion and mean-spiritedness.

  50. SKL May 14, 2013 at 11:29 pm #

    I think it’s more about parents being scared of school teachers and principals, who presumably told these women about the “rule” against opening the door. Which is scary enough, but for other reasons. :/

  51. Sarah in WA May 14, 2013 at 11:37 pm #

    Karen Tighe does bring up a good point about family legal affairs. Many, many schools have to deal with situations where a parent might have a restraining order or otherwise no visitation rights, etc.

    If a child is picked up by the wrong parent and there isn’t even any record of who picked the child up at all, guess who’s in deep doo-doo? The school.

    Does that make running a school like a prison okay? Well, no, of course not. In a perfect world, these situations wouldn’t happen. Sadly, though, it’s a reality, and in our litigious society the school really risks its neck if its not tracking every single person’s comings and goings.

    A better way would be to get back to sense of community–smaller schools where everyone does know everyone. If everyone is in the know it’s not very likely Johnny is going to go home with the wrong parent, since everyone would know not to sit idly by and let that happen.

    It’s far cheaper to make schools take on more and more students, though, and by making them bust at the seams there becomes less of a sense of community. No one knows off-hand who should be picking any given child up, so security measures like buzzing people in go into place. It’s sad on so many levels.

  52. marie May 15, 2013 at 12:01 am #

    You know, all of this security would make more sense if it were drug dealers they wanted to keep out.

    The drug dealers are in study hall, silly. Or history or math or sewing class…

    I don’t see a problem with looking at this situation and noting that the Holocaust couldn’t have happened without people blindly following rules the way those moms did. Same in Cambodia. Same in Rwanda. When people forget that those are their neighbors, friends, business associates affected by those nonsensical rules…that’s when despots and tyrants can move in.

    The idea that the Holocaust was such a special situation that we can draw no lessons from it that apply to a mothers’ day tea…that’s nuts. We’re supposed to learn from history.

    As for poisoning the scones? Not gonna happen because we’re allowed to bring only hermetically sealed foodstuffs to school. 🙂

  53. J.T. Wenting May 15, 2013 at 12:17 am #

    “, I am an employee in good standing but could not escort my own husband to pick something up.”

    that’s normal in most companies. It’s part liability, but also for evacuation tracking. If they don’t know who’s inside, they can’t in case of evacuation account for everyone to know if the fire department or whoever (company emergency response team for example) should go and mount a rescue effort.

    As to that school, wouldn’t surprise me if the door was centrally locked and the mums couldn’t open it even to get out in an emergency.
    Again, same in many companies. The doors are locked, even the emergency exits, unless you have an access badge (and not a visitor badge…).

  54. SKL May 15, 2013 at 12:18 am #

    For the record, I was able to go to my kids’ mother’s day tea without any hassle. No buzzing or signing in etc.

    Here’s a thought – maybe if someone ever needed to know whether I was there that day, they could have asked the teacher or another parent or one of the kids? Or me? But why would they need to know, assuming it wasn’t my day to blow up the school?

  55. Warren May 15, 2013 at 12:46 am #

    I do not know where you live or work, but having emergency exits locked is against the fire codes.

    They can be locked to prevent unauthorized entry, but must be able to be opened from the inside, without any hinderance.
    I suspect that when these places are being inspected they turn off the electronic locks, to make it appear to be a free and clear exit.
    Even emergency exits in prisons are not locked. They lead to contained courtyards, but cannot be locked, by law.

    If anyone has a child in a school that locks the fire exits, in any way or form, they should report it to the local fire dept. immediately.

  56. Emily May 15, 2013 at 12:52 am #

    All this talk about “records” of who picked which kid up on which day, is completely foreign to me, because when I was in school, there were known “bus students,” and everyone else was assumed to be a “walker.” At the end of the day, our teachers dismissed us to go home, and that was it. For younger students, or those who lived on the farther edges of the “walk zone” (so, too close to the school to qualify for bus service, but far enough that it’d be a fair hike, especially in the middle of a brutal Canadian winter), their parents would pick them up. Otherwise, our teachers just turned us loose. Some kids would walk home, and others would stay and play on the school playground. Actually, funny story–when I was in kindergarten, my mom would normally pick me up after school. One day, she couldn’t for some reason, so she arranged for an older girl in grade eight to walk me home……only that girl never showed up, so I set off walking myself home. I only lived about four blocks away from the school, so I made it okay. Anyway, that experience gave my parents a bit of a scare, but it empowered me too–even though I wouldn’t be allowed to walk to and from school independently (by my parents) until grade three, I knew from that day on that I *could* do it. The school didn’t have any minimum age for walking to and from school, and I don’t think it occurred to them to set one, because it wasn’t their place to make decisions that should be left up to the parents.

  57. Donna May 15, 2013 at 2:50 am #

    “If a child is picked up by the wrong parent and there isn’t even any record of who picked the child up at all, guess who’s in deep doo-doo?”

    Nobody was picking anyone up in this case. It was a bunch of moms with kids in the exact same classroom standing around waiting for tea.

    And let’s be real. Yes, there are contentious custody disputes. There are situations where one parent has restraining order against another. But these situations are RARE. They are not a reason to have blanket rules against opening doors to people you know and know belong at an event any more than kidnapping is a reason to never let a child outside under any circumstances.

    Nor are these situations completely new. My father briefly “kidnapped” me from my mother in 1976. Schools weren’t locked down like fortresses to prevent this rare occurrence. Rare occurrences were dealt with as they arose. And people were able to understand that the woman whose child is in your class and who was perfectly happily married yesterday is probably just coming to the Mother’s Day tea and not trying to slip in to kidnap her child against a restraining order today.

  58. Donald May 15, 2013 at 3:20 am #

    Leslie got it right. “We are being conditioned never to think with policies like this”.

    Never mind the anti drugs campaign. We need a “Just say no to fear hysteria” campaign. We are losing our ability to think. The population of mindless zealots are spreading like cancer.

    Although this is sickening, it isn’t surprising. It took a lot of outrage to get us into this mess. It will take several outrageous events like this to get us out of it.

    We all want children to be safe. This theater security does nothing to make children safer. This isn’t just a nuisance. Injecting them full of fear and mistrust puts them in danger. We are grossly neglecting our jobs to teach children how to become self reliant. We are instead making the depression and anxiety statistics sky rocket.

    And then we pat ourselves on the back about how we protect our children so well. The only thing that we are protecting (at the expense of putting children in danger) is a lawsuit. In a legal standpoint, theater security works great!

  59. Taradlion May 15, 2013 at 8:27 am #

    @ Natalie- “Jewish day schools are different….”

    I have 6th grader (and a third grader). We have always had a security guard. Same one. Big Israeli guy. (And, teachers and staff at drop off and dismissal).

    The front door, in ditrrect eye shot of the guard, was never locked until Sandy Hook.

  60. Jen May 15, 2013 at 9:02 am #

    The thing I hate most about all this security theater is that not only does it NOT make us any safer, it has very real negative consequences, as evidenced by this little scenario. I’m glad to say this would not happen (yet) at our elementary school. Parents do still hold the door for one another despite having been warned not to do so in the newsletter. I hope that continues.

  61. LauraO. May 15, 2013 at 9:14 am #

    My sons’ junior high implemented the same “security” after Sandy Hook, and I find it completely ridiculous and ineffective. I don’t so much mind the doors being locked throughout the day as I do the silly policy that no one is to open or hold the door for anyone, ever, even if they are regular volunteers or frequent visitors to the school. It makes no sense and does nothing to keep the students safe.

  62. Rachel May 15, 2013 at 9:19 am #

    Tragedies like Sandy Hook, 9/11 and the Boston Marathon have had tragic affects on our society that lasts for years.

    The responses we have had to them–eroding our civil rights, distrusting of our friends and neighbors, and giving in to xenophobia–only serve to take away our humanity and democracy. We are slowly becoming an authoritative state–that’s a danger we should all be really afraid of.

  63. lollipoplover May 15, 2013 at 9:37 am #

    “The responses we have had to them–eroding our civil rights, distrusting of our friends and neighbors, and giving in to xenophobia–only serve to take away our humanity and democracy. We are slowly becoming an authoritative state–that’s a danger we should all be really afraid of.”

    That has me most afraid too. Those moms who wouldn’t open the door are the community that’s supposed to support each other yet they don’t have the common decency to help a fellow mom out.

    And for the life of me, all of these *logs* of paperwork (killing trees) and *procedures* to follow, like these teachers are working in a nuclear power plant-they’re little kids! Rrealize that actions speak louder than words…and kids will observe gestures (like refusing to open a door) and retain our actions over the words they are taught (be kind to others). Keeping kids locked in and telling them this is the only way to be safe, by following safety procedure, is setting them up for an anxiety-ridden youth.

  64. Rachel May 15, 2013 at 10:01 am #

    @lollipoplover – I agree. We need to preserve our sense of humanity and community–particularly after tragedies–and teach that to our children.

    I’m going to keep opening the door for others, keep smiling and waving at babies on the subway who are looking at me, keep helping kids who are stuck on the monkey bars, and keep letting kids I don’t know pet my dog. So far, no one has stopped me…but they’ll get an earful if they do!

  65. Natalie May 15, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    I’m sure the security at the Jewish preschool was inconvenient, and parts of it ineffective. But those aren’t reasons to say its not justified, those are reasons to say it could be improved and made more efficient.
    More hate crimes are perpetrated against Jews than any other minority in the US. I was actually surprised at that, I thought with all the anti-Arab and anti-Muslim sentiment since 9/11, or all the anti-gay crap being spewed around it wouldn’t be at the top of the list, but there you go.
    I look at it like security on airplanes. The chances that your plane specifically will get hijacked are pretty slim. But airplanes are a target.

  66. Natalie May 15, 2013 at 10:45 am #

    At my daughter’s Jewish school, they have a guard and if the guard isn’t there you’re buzzed in. I don’t know when these policies were put into place but it didn’t have anything to do withSandy Hook.

  67. DH May 15, 2013 at 10:56 am #

    “But then they aggressively make you sign the log-in book. Because “bad guys” don’t know how to make up a phony name?”

    I have carpel tunnel issues. Writing by hand HURTS. Even just writing something short and simple. My hand cramps almost immediately.

    If anyone can decipher anything I ever put down in our school log-in book, they deserve a cookie. Nobody checks on what you wrote down. Generally, you might be able to get a D and an H out of the name field, and I put a line in the reason field.

  68. Taradlion May 15, 2013 at 11:01 am #

    Natalie- I get it, some (Jewish) schools may have always locked the doors (like yours). My point was at OUR school, the locked doors were as a result of Sandy Hook (the guard was in place for security because it is a Jewish school in NYC).

  69. Suzanne May 15, 2013 at 11:10 am #

    This really stuck a cord with me, last week I held the door for a mom who was entering the school as I was leaving. I wondered as I was doing it if I would “get in trouble.” I knew that I would rather get in trouble than make that mom stand outside. After reading some of the comments here I realize that even as we say hey this is over doing it we are still convinced that we have to play along. I was really surprised at the comments that defended the moms inside the doors.

    Eileen – I don’t think it is about liability. Not in the schools. I’m betting the company you work for has security reasons that have nothing to do with shooters. The reasons are probably more to do with intel, my husbands co has similar rules and it is to protect the work being done.

    What exactly are we afraid of? What kind of trouble are we going to get into? What are the possible consequences of holding the door?

    Are the administrators going to come on say “hey don’t do that?” Our response should be “ok” and then go ahead and do it anyway. We are not breaking any law, we are not going to be arrested. I take offense to them saying I have to jump through so many hoops to get into the building where my children are. Those are MY kids, MINE. What proof have they offered to me that the teacher is competent to teach, or not a child molester themselves? None. What proof have they given that the administrators are competent? Less than none, as a matter of fact they work hard at showing me they are not intelligent enough to care for my child for 7 hours 5 days a week. They claim all of the staff has been background checked but those results have never been made available to me. I am not saying I think the teachers are going to hurt my kids my point is if they can’t trust me why should I trust them?

  70. Natalie May 15, 2013 at 11:14 am #


    Here’s a definition of Godwin’s Law courtesy of wikipedia:

    “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.” In other words, Godwin said that, given enough time, in any online discussion—regardless of topic or scope—someone inevitably makes a comparison to Hitler or the Nazis.

    Does that not show you the ridiculousness of the comparison? If not, let me quote your sentence:

    “The idea that the Holocaust was such a special situation that we can draw no lessons from it that apply to a mothers’ day tea…that’s nuts. We’re supposed to learn from history.”

    Just reread your sentence a few times. You see nothing wrong with that? Today no door opening, tomorrow Auschwitz? Really. It just makes this whole topic sound extremely petty when catastrophes, war and genocide are compared to people NOT OPENING DOORS. Or the NRA, or abortions, or or why Nickleback is such a popular band, or why I should use the Helvetica font on the third Thursday of the month. I mean, really.

    I think the problem here is bureaucracy, not a society on the brink of fascism. Bureaucracies have rules, papers, signatures, and procedures that they follow because that is the nature of the system. It’s a system, an institution, not an individual. You are not allowed to go against the procedure because the procedure is in place to keep order and regulate things.

    Does that make for inefficiencies? Yes. Does it create incredibly stupid situations that make you want to pull your hair out? (I work at a place like this) Yes.

    But it’s not fascism. Every single government in the world is a bureaucracy, both democratic and fascist. I’m not saying that’s a good thing. I’m just saying, that’s how it is. Keep things in perspective.

    As for drug dealers – drugs are a serious problem in schools. And of course students are going to be dealing them, being buzzed in won’t help with that. But would you rather have students dealing them? Or random people who have found the school to be an easy target because they can just walk right in?

  71. Natalie May 15, 2013 at 11:15 am #

    @taradiliion –
    Okay. Gotcha. Chag sameach, btw.

  72. anonymous this time May 15, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

    Knowing what I know about violence at school, and seeing how my kids’ elementary school’s annoying and inconsistently-applied “security” measures are unlikely to stop said violence, I wonder how anyone can really get behind door buzzers and the like.

    Did Sandy Hook have security systems in place? If so, I rest my case. All we subvert with security systems is civility and connection to each other. Not worth it!

  73. marie May 15, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

    I’m just saying, that’s how it is.

    Yes, Natalie, that’s how it is. That’s how it was in Germany, too. People looked at things that were WRONG and shrugged, saying, “That’s just how it is.” They assumed they had no power to change things and so they let bad things continue.

    You can shrug if you like but I prefer to resist pointless rules, especially rules that end up with people like you not even questioning them.

    I understand that it is fun to read what I said and laugh about how I compared a mothers day tea to the Holocaust. Imagine how much more fun it would be if that was actually what I did.

  74. Warren May 15, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

    Again we have people wanting to make the schools responsible for their own problems.

    Custody issues and the like, should not be the school’s problem. If you are having issues of this nature, get you butt to the school and take care of your own kid, or get a trusted family member to do it. Do not make the school responsible for your legal issues. Take responsibility yourself. These are teachers not US Marshalls.

    Damn, why is it everyone’s responsibility to accomodate the one’s with problems. If you and your ex are having issues, it has nothing to do with me, my kids, other parents or the other students.

  75. lollipoplover May 15, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

    We went to a school performance last week through the front door (no signing in or buzzers, thank you)and were in and out the side doors of the cafeteria letting kids go to and from the adjacent playground.

    It was very crowded and many of the little kids didn’t have seats to see the show (we got there early but it was standing room only) so we opened the side door and let the kids play while we watched and enjoyed our performers on stage. The older kids went to the front playground to play basketball. We closed the door to keep the noise out, but parents of little ones could peek out to check on their kids…though no one got hurt or needed anything.
    I can’t imagine not letting someone in….unless I was a complete asshole.

  76. Papilio May 15, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

    I know Lenore points out to world-proof the child and not the other way around. So you accept the world as it is, and instead of changing that, you change your child. That makes sense, in this case.
    But with other problems, I sometimes get the feeling that everybody is thinking around the source of the problem. For example, cyclists getting hit by cars is a problem, and the solution is to try to protect each and every individual cyclist by making them wear a helmet.
    Kids in schools getting shot by individuals is a problem, and the solution is to try to protect each and every school by changing them into a fortress.
    Or what I read about those American Girl books the other day: a girl’s dress getting caught in her bikewheel is a problem, and the solution was to adjust (some of) her clothes.
    Neither of those solutions is effective (enough…), and have negative consequences that are sometimes clear to everyone and sometimes… not.
    Maybe we need an other line to think along. Maybe sometimes the solution is on the ‘world/source’ part, not the ‘individual/end’ part.

    But my philosophical mood isn’t really helpful in this thread I guess LOL

  77. Eileen May 15, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

    @Suzanne, I still contend that perception AND liability are part of these types of changes/policies. If a security audit recommended that schools do “X” and they don’t do “X”, and there is some sort of accident or event, then that’s a legal liability.

    As far as my employer, it’s both employee safety and corporate asset security. Of course, my husband is not a threat to either, but I didn’t just plow thru the door with him anyway.

    As far as “what are we afraid of”….I think that’s just an easy thing to say. The reality is, if you’ve been asked to follow the policy directly, perhaps you choose to follow the policy rather than making the person in the office’s job more difficult. I’m not saying anyone has to agree with it, and I think if you want to open the door you should. But just because people might CHOOSE to follow the school’s request, doesn’t mean they are cowards (as has been suggested).

    I am a school volunteer. I have three siblings that are school teachers. I choose not to make school administrators, teachers, or volunteers jobs harder. If I have a problem with a school policy, I address it. I don’t just ignore it.

  78. Warrenl May 15, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    And in cases of moronic rules such as this one, people like me would choose to address it by opening the door, each and everytime.

    For a mother to boldy refuse to open the door, as in this case, it is cowardly sheep mentallity. They have been brainwashed into compliance.

    There are 4 types of parents, when it comes to issues like this.
    1. The paranoid squeeky wheels that get these rules put into practise.
    2. The realistic parents that fight these rules.
    3. The mindless masses that just go along.
    4. The ones that don’t care about their kids.

    We can eliminate group 4, as nothing is important enough to get involved.
    Group 2 is the problem. They neither have the courage or experience to do anything other than follow. They will follow the paranoid group, because the weak would rather be safe than sorry.
    Group 3 is then outnumbered, because the weak group two is swayed by group 1’s, but think of the children mantra.

    As for the person’s job, in the office, becoming more difficult…….well sucks to be them. They should be fighting these moronic rules. They are in charge of our kids education, not keeping the prison secure.

  79. Warrenl May 15, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

    Sorry in the breakdown I reversed groups 3 and 2.

  80. Eileen May 15, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

    @Warrenl, I guess you know my thoughts and heart better than myself? I clearly have stated that it saddens me that our schools feel compelled (for a wide variety of reasons, but some are other parents) have come to this. But I CLEARLY state why I might choose to follow the school’s guideline. And you know what? I’ve opened locked doors for other parents at my kids’ schools. But I can also envision a scenario where I might choose not to.

    I work LOTS of hours as a school volunteer. I’ve been approached by other parents who have no idea what some projects entail and who judge and complain about things without ever asking what they can do to help, or even understanding why some things are organized the way they are.

    I have worked with teachers, guidance, and even principals on issues that are important me, ones I disagree with. What I choose NOT to do, is impact the teachers and staff (and volunteers) by deciding my way is the “right way” and put the burden on them to work around me after I’m aware of a system or procedure that they are trying to implement.

    I’m not lazy, I’m not mindless, I’m not a coward. But you can call me that if that makes you feel better.

  81. Katrina May 15, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

    OMG….you mean that school lets them bring food from home? Food that could have any sort of poison in it? Prepared in kitchens that have not been authorised by the city as safe to prepare food for human consumption? What happens if a child gets ill from eating this food? Do they sue the school or is each item of food consumed by each child noted in a special book so thatthe individuals who prepared the food can be sued? Does the school test each plate of food and sends a sample off to a quick rush lab to test it to see if its safe for people to consume….feel like banging my head against a wall…so the other mums know this is a parent which means they will be admitted to the school anyway….doesn’t make any difference if they are carrying a gun or not, as a parent who has the right to be there they will be let in the doors eventually

  82. Beth May 15, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

    “If they don’t know who’s inside, they can’t in case of evacuation account for everyone to know if the fire department or whoever (company emergency response team for example) should go and mount a rescue effort.”

    To me, this is a tired argument made only to justify the inconvenience of a sign-in procedure. If accounting for everyone inside a structure is a must in case of emergency, why don’t we have to sign in and out at Best Buy? The mall? A baseball game in a venue that holds 40,000 people?

    Heck, I have to check in at my gym, but not when I leave, and certainly a listing of everyone who walked in the door that day (if said list didn’t burn or explode….) isn’t going to help with evacuation or search and rescue.

  83. Taradlion May 15, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

    @ Natalie- Chag Semeach!

    We happen to have a new PA parent who is hyper paranoid and asked for the change…like in many other circumstances, she argued for “the safety” and without thinking, policy was changed.

    After Sandy Hook (RIGHT after), our school had a lock down drill and my so (3rd grader) came home and said, “we’re safe because we have Avi (security guard) and he was in the Army.” I said, “You are safe because this is soooo rare it is not going to happen. If it weren’t rare, it wouldn’t be such big news today.”

  84. Donna May 15, 2013 at 7:38 pm #

    “There are 4 types of parents, when it comes to issues like this.”

    Actually there are 5 groups:
    5. Parents who are different from you and simply don’t care about something that is important to you.

    For this I’d open the door I think that it is rude to let someone stand outside when I can reach over and open the door. But there are many issues that have been discussed on this blog that other people seem to be outraged over that I just don’t care about in the least. The fact that I choose to comply with a rule when it doesn’t bother me in the least to comply with it, doesn’t make me weak or sheep. It simply means I don’t mind complying with the rule.

  85. ank May 15, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

    yesterday when I picked up my girls from preschool another parent rang the doorbell so she could pick up her daughter. I told the teacher “I’ll get it” and the teacher…thanked me. No big deal here (thankfully)

  86. Peter Brülls May 16, 2013 at 3:15 am #

    @Eileen They didn’t compare compliance with the rule or the rule with the Holocaust.

    However, they follow the same pattern.

    Instead of Goodwin check out Milgram.

    The current trend in America – heck, most Western countries – is rule enforcement: Daddy knows best – and he can’t tell you why, because then the terrorists would have won. At the same time, rare risks are being used to make people believe that they have to interact with authorities as intermediaries or even make them distrustful of each other. (Like tackling that poor Saudi victim of the Boston bombing.)

    As a German: This is *exactly* what happened back in my grand parents’ time. It doesn’t necessary lead to genocide, but it is a road to unfree, authoritarian rule.

  87. pentamom May 16, 2013 at 10:04 am #

    Exactly, Peter. Yes, not opening the door to acquaintances is not like turning people over to be slaughtered. No one claims that it is.

    But the culture of obeying every petty authority over the most *obvious* common sense is certainly a contributing factor to people eventually learning to do things as heinous as turning your neighbors over to be slaughtered. It’s a far, far milder version of the same mentality, and of course does not create anywhere near as much harm in the immediate sense, nor does it indicate that anyone behind the scenes is deliberately training people to cooperate with genocide, but it is on the *same* trajectory as cooperating with genocide, not an entirely different one.

    Yet I still agree with Donna:

    “The fact that I choose to comply with a rule when it doesn’t bother me in the least to comply with it, doesn’t make me weak or sheep. It simply means I don’t mind complying with the rule.”

    The fault here lies with the authorities who want to train people to obey stupid rules over using their heads, not with people who calculate that obeying the rule suits them better than not doing so.

  88. Warren May 16, 2013 at 10:47 am #


    “All anyone ever gets, from sitting on the fence, is a sore ass.” Groucho Marx, and yet still so relevent today.

  89. Warren May 16, 2013 at 11:00 am #

    “The fault here lies with the authorities who want to train people to obey stupid rules over using their heads, not with people who calculate that obeying the rule suits them better than not doing so.”

    This is the whole problem. This way of thinking only gives the authorities more power. Every time you comply, because it is just easier, you are validating their efforts. Following out of ease is even worse than being one of the mindless masses.

    If you do something you know is wrong, just because it is easier, what kind of message are you teaching your kids?

    Go ahead, look at your son or daughter and tell them it is okay to be rude to someone, because it is easier than doing the right thing, by opening the door. Nice lesson to teach them.

  90. Donna May 16, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

    @Warren –

    Personally I think just about every single law mandating something is inherently wrong. That said I still wear a seatbelt because it is safer. I still used a carseat because it was safer. I still buy car insurance because I don’t want to lose my house if I cause a serious accident. I still buy health insurance because my health is important to me. In fact, I did some of these things BEFORE they were required by law (car seat laws predate me having children and car insurance laws predate my existence). Am I weak for making what I consider smart choices for my family despite the fact that I think a law mandating these things is wrong? Or am I required to put my family at risk just to prove that I am not a sheep?

    And everyone obeys stupid rules and laws they don’t agree with because they determine that the penalty of not complying is higher than the penalty of complying. I think speed limits are way too low in most areas. I still choose to obey them because I’d rather not pay large speeding tickets and wrack up points until my driver’s licence is revoked. I think Stat rape laws are awful and campaign strongly to repeal them. I will still advise my child to follow them. Same with sexting and many other crimes that I don’t think should be crimes. Prison is not an acceptable penalty to me regardless of my thoughts on the laws.

    I choose to teach my child to pick her battles. The world is full of idiots and idiocy. You certainly can get worked up over every little thing if you choose. I choose to teach my child to fight wrongful laws and rules intelligently rather than blowing off steam for no purpose. To each their own.

  91. Warren May 16, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    Comparing laws with actual consequences, to moronic rules such as this one, is comparing apples to oranges.

    So opening the door, against the rules, is blowing off steam? Get over yourself. You take non compliance and make it confrontational far too often.

    Comply with the rest of the sheep, and when the rules get to be too much, and are overwhelming, look in the mirror for someone to blame.

  92. hineata May 16, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

    Sheep, sheep, sheep – once again, leave the poor darlings alone! 🙂

    When sheep move, it is to follow a ‘lead sheep’, so at least some of the flock are thinking…….

    And as for sheep being weak, ever been stood on by one, when your feet were bare…..or ridden one? Or tried to remove one from the garden when they didn’t want to leave?

    Personally I always thought moose looked stupider, but then I have never seen one in the flesh – presumably the Maoris ate them all before the Europeans arrived.

    As for the rules bit everyone is discussing here, the rule above is stupid, but I agree with Donna, in that were I to choose to obey a silly rule, (and I wouldn’t personally ‘obey’ the one above), it would be because I chose to, and not because I was acting like some kind of big dumb animal.

  93. pentamom May 16, 2013 at 10:37 pm #

    “This is the whole problem. This way of thinking only gives the authorities more power. Every time you comply, because it is just easier, you are validating their efforts. Following out of ease is even worse than being one of the mindless masses. ”

    This is only true if you ALWAYS passively accept the rules, and never fight them. I am not advocating that. I am saying that the fact that people sometimes do obey the rules is not sufficient information to make global statements about their character.

    “If you do something you know is wrong, just because it is easier, what kind of message are you teaching your kids?”

    You’re teaching your kids something foolish, just like Warren sometimes sets a bad example for his kids by his choices, and pentamom sometimes sets a bad example for her kids by hers.

    It’s not objecting to the rule following that’s the problem, it’s making vast global statements indicting the entire character of other people because they don’t view things exactly the way you do. I guess if your goal is always to be right alone on your mountaintop of superiority that works, but if you actually want to live with people *and change the things you have a problem with* you’re going to need better ways of dealing with people who don’t immediately agree.

  94. Warren May 17, 2013 at 11:01 am #

    Sorry, but when it comes to stupid, insane, or moronic rules, policies, procedures, or whatever, going along, keeping my mouth shut, or whatever you prescribe just to “live with people”, won’t happen.

    Compromising what you know to be right, just to get along with someone? Well then that someone isn’t worth my time, or effort. It is that simple. Compromising when you are not sure, that is what works. Admitting you are wrong, works even better. Bending over and taking it, does not work for me.

    Penatmom, I am damn near 50 yrs old, have plenty of friends, associates, customers, and family. So I do not need to become you, to have that. I have done just fine on my own thank you very much.

    There are those of us, with strong personalities, and convictions, and then there are those like you who are weak.

  95. Eileen May 17, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

    The thing I find odd is the suggestion that people that would choose to ‘follow the rule’ about the door at school are somehow not teaching your children manners about opening doors. Surely a group that is trying to empower children would think they are capable of understanding the difference between holding a door open at, say a store or church, or within the school as compared to opening a locked exterior door.

    If someone is going to say that these “rule following” people are being rude, then you aren’t being honest or fair.

    The name calling is really interesting. Do free range parents encourage their kids to name-call when people have a different opinion? That’s an interesting take.

    Disagreement is fine….name calling isn’t.

  96. Eileen May 17, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

    I’ve only been reading this blog for a month or so and I know it’s best to sit back and read before stepping into discussions on message boards/blogs.

    I’m not sure if it’s fair to draw conclusions on how the discussions take place, but the idea (from some) that everyone should not only THINK the same, but also ACT the same is very odd to me.

    I think there is GREAT food for thought here for parents. But there’s also a dose of something unattractive.

    In my experience, most parents really want to do right by their kids. Navigating life (let alone in “today’s world”, whatever that means) is not always simple and certainly not black and white. What a great resource this is for seeing a viewpoint that has, somewhere along the way, become less natural for parents.

    One thing I want to teach people is not to label or dismiss a group of people simply because they don’t see the world the exact same way I do. Discussion is good, dismissal is not. You really don’t have anywhere to go once you call someone “weak” or “cowardly” or “moronic” do you?

  97. Eileen May 17, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    oops, I wrote: “to teach people” when I meant to write “to teach my KIDS”

  98. Jern May 17, 2013 at 11:28 pm #

    Wow! I’m SO glad many of you here are not parents at the school in which I teach! Custody problems happen EVERY day. Records of who picked up a student are required by law, and are especially important since more than 50% of kids come from split families with potential custody issues.

    Why is it more important to lock doors and have sign-in procedures to protect corporate intel than it is to protect kids?

    The tea was a special situation and it would have been nice to have someone on staff at the door to let moms in the school. I wonder, however, how many of you vote consistently for school levies to make sure there are staff to open doors for you? Heck, how many of you vote for levies to make sure there are reading interventionists for struggling elementary school kids, gifted programs, or teaming for middle school? All of these programs are proven to help kids achieve. Mother’s day teas make mom feel good but don’t help with academics achievement – the goal of schools. If you want kids to be nice, step up as parents and teach them to be nice. Teachers will teach reading, math, etc. Manners are not part of the Common Core.

    As for other moms opening the door, why bash those that are obviously concerned about your kid’s safety even if you are not? Because you might have to stand outside for 30 seconds? Poor you! If you don’t like the safety rules, volunteer to be on you school’s safety and security committee. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Lots of entitled comments / people here.

  99. Buffy May 18, 2013 at 8:32 am #

    So Jern, at your school not a single kid can walk or bike home? Is there a bus system, and does getting on the bus count as a record of who picked up the child? What if a non-custodial parent is waiting at the bus stop where the child gets off?

    Sign-in procedures (ie. writing one’s name on a piece of paper before delivering those non-homemade cupcakes to the class party) don’t protect anyone, school or corporate. It’s security theater meant to convince people that they’re safer.

  100. Patti May 18, 2013 at 11:43 am #

    The last time I read up on security doors, they actually made schools less safe because everyone assumed that if you were in the building you had been allowed in. People stopped questioning visitors even if something seemed amiss. Our local police department doesn’t recommend buzz doors for schools, but that didn’t stop every school in the area from installing them.

    I work at a school with security doors, and no one lets anyone in even if they know them. I know I don’t. The reason is that if the front doors open during the school day without being buzzed open from the office, steel doors around the foyer close and we go into lock down. Then there’s some official process for getting the extra doors unlocked again takes a few minutes, which means you can’t get from one side of the building to the other until they’re open. I have been on the wrong side of the door from my classroom several times this year. It’s just not worth it to let even your best friend in!

  101. Warren May 19, 2013 at 1:22 am #

    For your information, I have stopped overbearing security measures from being implemented at my kids school.

    I do not just talk, I also act.

    And just how is not opening a door for another parent, being concerned for the kid’s safety? It isn’t. It is fear of being reprimanded by school staff. Sometimes school staff just need to be reminded of who they actually work for.

  102. Beth May 19, 2013 at 10:27 am #

    @Jerm, I’m confused by your statement that a mom who *knows* the parent outside and has even been to her house, is to be lauded because she’s so all of a sudden concerned for everyone’s safety that she won’t open the door. There’s nothing laudable about that, and it has nothing to do with safety.

  103. Puzzled May 19, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

    Jerm – nice collection of soundbites. I do not vote to reward those who do idiotic things routinely, personally. Also, the things you list as being proven to help kids succeed have only been proven (actually, correlated) to help them get good grades on meaningless standardized tests. Corporate intel needs more security than kids since there is a greater motive to steal it.

  104. Warren May 19, 2013 at 1:58 pm #


    I am sure there are more attempts at corporate theft and espionage than there is stranger abductions. And there is a big difference between corportate safety precautions and school safety precautions. Taxes pay for the school security! Some people just don’t get this.

    Like those that talk about the security around the Presidents kids. The Secret Service could care less about the kids. They are there to make sure the kids cannot be used a leverage against the office of the President. People just like comparing apples to oranges. Thanks for bringing up the motive for corp. theft.


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