Some Texas Parents Can No Longer Walk Their Kids Into School — Thanks to Sandy Hook

Readers tsifandsnd
— Here’s the rub. Some schools in Texas are no longer allowing parents to walk their kids directly to their classrooms, as a result of Sandy Hook. On the one hand, that’s great! Since when do kids need to be hand-delivered like registered mail? One mom in this article by the Dallas Fort Worth CBS affiliate says of the new rules:

“They may have security, but I want to know where my kid is going at all times.”

Now she’ll learn that this level of supervision is not only unnecessary, it’s no longer even allowed.

On the other hand, the REASON for this new rule is just as over-the-top as parents who don’t think their kids can get to their classrooms safely without a parental body guard. Says a district spokesman:

“…being able to know who’s in the building, who’s in front, who’s deeper into the building, is very important in keeping our kids safe.”

It is? You mean to say kids were NOT safe when parents were dropping their kids off at the classroom?

The fact is: Kids are safe at school. Allowing or forbidding parents to enter the building does not seem to have played a role even in the rare and horrific event of a school shooting. Parents need to realize this. School districts need to realize this. We ALL need to realize this, and chill.

If you’d like to read about the safety of U.S. schools, here’s a report from NPR. It’s very reassuring. – L.


71 Responses to Some Texas Parents Can No Longer Walk Their Kids Into School — Thanks to Sandy Hook

  1. Gary September 9, 2013 at 9:53 am #

    I have to go do safety orientation for some n00bs here at work but I will read this and hopefully have some decent videos to reference when i get back…

    Welcome back Lenore!!!

  2. pentamom September 9, 2013 at 10:07 am #

    “…being able to know who’s in the building, who’s in front, who’s deeper into the building, is very important in keeping our kids safe.”

    Because the problem with Sandy Hook was that they didn’t know Adam Lanza was there or that he didn’t belong there.

    What is WRONG with these people?

  3. Buffy September 9, 2013 at 10:27 am #

    I agree that kids don’t need to be walked to their classroom every day, but I disagree strongly with school security policies that assume that all parents are criminals and treat them likewise. Keeping parents out of the school, and/or requiring 14-step signing in/out policies, doesn’t keep any kid any safer.

    Plus, the school districts don’t seem to be worried that the kids all go home at the end of the day to those very same parents who aren’t allowed in the school.

  4. Tannis September 9, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    Why in the world would I need to walk my kids into the classroom? I know at our schools here a lot of parents come with the kids on the first day (or the last) to take pictures and things – and its about sentimentality, not safety. But other than that, the kids line up outside and the teachers come get them when they are ready. Kindergarten parents seem to stay – not sure if they are supposed to or if they just choose to so they can chat!

    I will say that if I visit my child at school or come into the school beyond the front office I have to check in and wear a visitor’s badge. I have always thought of this as a safety feature for me – if there were a fire/earthquake/other disaster, responders need to know who is in the building and where. I think it would also be helpful if you had too many “helicopter parents” visiting too often and being in the way 🙂 You would know who was there and could talk to them about if they needed to come so often!

  5. Rob September 9, 2013 at 10:34 am #

    Oh well, at least the second parent quoted had a little more reasonable outlook: “As long as I can see him walk in that building, that will be fine. Because once he’s in that building they’ll take care of him.”

    She still needs to actually see him go into the building, but at least she understands he’s not in peril between the front door and the classroom.

    I also love how parents will be able to walk their kids to their classroom for the first week of school. So, it’s some huge breach of security that puts all children in peril to have the parents walking into the building on every day of the school year EXCEPT for those first few. THOSE days are perfectly safe. Brilliant.

    *sigh* My wife’s grandmother lived in Kentucky when she was a kid and she actually rode a horse into town to catch the school bus every day. But today’s kids have to be hand-held until they’re sitting in their chairs in the classroom. We are doomed.

  6. Beth September 9, 2013 at 10:46 am #

    @Tannis, that fire/earthquake/disaster excuse is the one often given, but think about it. Chances are pretty high that the sign-in form will be destroyed in the disaster, or be difficult to locate. Firefighters are fully trained in the “art” of primary and secondary searches, and do so without a piece of paper telling them who is in the building and where.

    Plus, if this were SO important, why don’t we sign in at the mall, or for that matter any large sports venue? I went to a few games at AT&T Park in San Francisco while on vacation, and they showed earthquake evacuation instructions on the big screen. But we bought our tickets on StubHub, so no one at AT&T really had any idea who we were or where we were sitting (not to mention, we actually moved around the park!) Yet I have no doubt if there had been an earthquake, and we evacuated somewhere, we would have been eventually found.

    Telling people that signing in at school is due to the possibility of disasters is just more security theater.

  7. Michelle September 9, 2013 at 10:49 am #

    This is crazy! Our kids need their independence otherwise we’re not doing our jobs as parents!

  8. Warren September 9, 2013 at 11:30 am #

    Sign in books,at schools or businesses are part of fire safety, and the person responsible for getting people to sign in and out, is also responsible for grabbing the book before exiting. It is more for the safety of firefighters than anything. Once out using the book and other attendance forms, can prevent having to send firefighters into search.

  9. Beth September 9, 2013 at 11:43 am #

    Sorry Warren, but you’re just plain wrong. Firefighters aren’t going to assume the building is empty because someone took the time (with responders standing around waiting?) to match up names with everyone who has evacuated. They are still going to search.

    I live in a large metropolitan area and have never had to sign in at a business, other than my gym. And there, I don’t have to sign out…so how is that helpful to emergency responders in any way?

  10. Papilio September 9, 2013 at 11:48 am #

    “They may have security, but I want to know where my kid is going at all times.”

    Pfffff… I always wonder if they want to get a text if their child goes to the bathroom…

  11. Abby September 9, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

    Our school district is doing a referendum this fall which includes reconfiguring all schools to have a buzzer system to control who enters the building. You know, exactly the same kind they had at Sandy Hook, because that worked so well.

    I believe that my kids are safe at school as it is – or as safe as they are almost anywhere, as long as we have people running around with assault weapons. I have no need to walk them to their classroom anyway, but I’m PISSED that we are spending millions of dollars on this when the money is needed for academic programs. We don’t have language immersion programs, we don’t have an IB program, buy by God, we will have classroom doors that lock from the inside. The worst part is that the security part is tied up with a technology referendum which I want to pass.

  12. Alicia September 9, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

    My school started a policy like this, prior to Sandy Hook, but I actually think it was more because of a particular helicopter mom who needed to give her son some autonomy. She was an absolute nutcase – volunteered practically daily at school, joined her child for lunch quite often. The poor boy was having trouble making friends, mostly because his Mom was always there. I feel bad for the child, but I was kind of glad that they changed schools this year. The school was bending over backwards for this parent for every little thing she was concerned with. One day, that boy is going to rebel. I also think having parents there makes the hallways very crowded, and teachers need to have some time in the mornings without parents wanting to talk as the day is starting – which they happily do with an appointment.

  13. Valerie Hawthorne September 9, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

    Guess what!! I enrolled my kids in Kindergarden and nope. I have to drop them at the curb and pick them up from the curb. Not allowed through the building doors. I’m furious but unfortunately I’m the only one. The response from everyone else I tell this to is, well of course. Makes sense. You can never be too careful. It’s the safest thing. Safety first. The world is different now.

  14. pentamom September 9, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

    “You would know who was there and could talk to them about if they needed to come so often!”

    Wouldn’t you already know that because you’d SEE them come in? I’m assuming they don’t come in and then hide somewhere — they’re coming into the classroom where the teacher can see them, and most likely to talk to the teacher. If someone’s doing that, you don’t need a sign-in sheet to know they’re doing it.

    And I agree the “public safety” thing doesn’t make any sense. As Beth points out, there are buildings that are full of people coming and going every day with no record of who’s there — restaurants, gyms, office buildings, malls, hospitals, libraries, college buildings, arenas, etc. There is no reason this is any more appropriate at a school than any of those other places.

  15. lollipoplover September 9, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

    ‘OK, what’s the WORST that could happen if you don’t walk Johnny that extra 50 feet to his desk? Perhaps he might get lost and dehydrate or trip on a backpack that might be a bomb. Do you honestly have such little faith in your child and their ability to locate their classroom?

    I feel for school administrators dealing with whackadoodle parents who need to be in control of everything related to their child. They’re the reason our school had to stop parents from eating lunch with their kids every day. Our school used to be very open with classroom visits and occasional lunch dates but some (crazy) parents can’t be away from their kids and insist on access to them at all times. Honestly, I’ve never felt the need to visit my kid during school hours but to make it Sandy Hook related is stupid.

  16. Scott Hulslander September 9, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

    It’s the same at the school my boys go to in little old Trumansburg. NY.

    You have to get buzzed in from the front door and get a visitors pass. Kinda hard to take seriously since the front doors are pretty much all glass. smh

  17. DH September 9, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

    At my kid’s school, the kids are supposed to go line up with their classes on the playground. If I wanted to walk him in, I would have to park in the front parking lot, walk him through the front door, sign in at the office, get a visitor’s badge, and then walk him to his classroom door. This procedure is the same for all kids, grades kindergarten through age 5.

    It is far easier to pull up next to the gate to the playground in the kiss-and-go line, and wave bye as he walks through the gate.

    (Well, really, it is far easier to load him onto the bus and wave bye as the bus pulls away. But on those rare days I have to drive him, it is far easier to do the above than try to walk him to the classroom. The only time I’ve done it, we were both carrying a somewhat fragile diorama.)

  18. DH September 9, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

    Hmm. That was supposed to be kindergarten through GRADE 5.

  19. Buffy September 9, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

    @Valerie, not that I agree that you should never, ever be allowed in your child’s school, but what exactly do you think is going to happen to him/her between the curb and the classroom? You realize that millions and millions of kids attend school every day without incident, and many of them even find their own classrooms, every day….right?

  20. oncefallendotcom September 9, 2013 at 1:19 pm #

    Have you ever watched an old movie or an old cultural reference you just don’t get before it was “before your time”?

    I was just thinking, how long before we reach a point in our society where we watch a movie or show where kids made such a big deal about getting picked up by mom after school and the movie watcher doesn’t get it?

  21. Gary September 9, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

    This is what the school my two kids will be eventually going to has in place for visitors.

  22. b September 9, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

    Don’t they know one another?
    Do they ever speak with each other? Make friends?

    So what if a mom has lunch with her kid everyday.
    So what if a mom walks her kid to class.

    Eventually, the trust will build.

  23. Sky September 9, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

    I recently moved to Texas to the DFW area. I didn’t think this rule was a security thing. I honestly thought it was a crowd control thing and to get rid of hovering parents. (Like the parent you just quoted in this entry, who said, “but I want to know where my kid is going AT ALL TIMES.”) Schools can get jam packed with parents walking kids to their classrooms every morning. Maybe they just used Sandy Hook as an excuse instead of saying, “Relax, mom, your kid will make it to her classroom without you,” because they can’t be honest and say, “Parents, you are waaaaaay over-involved. Step back” without seriously ruffling feathers. Kids can leave the schools and walk or bike home alone, and a great many do, so I think it’s more an issue of not wanting all those parents in there.

  24. pentamom September 9, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

    Yeah, there’s no common sense here, that’s the problem. I don’t believe in walking your kids in to class as a normal practice. However, there are special cases, and there are situations where you might need to stop in and talk to someone about something, in a an appropriate, non-helicopterish way. The idea that you BAN people from entering the building AT ALL is ridiculous, and doubly ridiculous that it’s in the name of safety, and as a result of an incident that had nothing to do with a parent entering the school at normal opening time.

  25. pentamom September 9, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

    The fact that they may just be using Sandy Hook as an excuse to limit hovering doesn’t make it okay. They could make it school policy that parents are discouraged from going into the classroom without notifying the teacher in advance, or something like that. For those that are not compliant, the teacher just calmly but firmly repeats the policy and turns her back on the parent who is not there for a valid reason, as many times as necessary. The third time, the principal calls and stresses that the teacher needs to be undisturbed while preparing herself and the kids for the beginning of the day. Sure, it’s a little harder on the teachers (although most parents would actually be compliant it if was expressed as school policy) but feeding the post-Sandy Hook post-whatever else paranoia is too high a price to pay to avoid that problem.

  26. Donna September 9, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

    Warren – I haven’t been in a school that used a portable sign-in book since I was in school. It is all computerized. Do you really think that the fire department would ever in a million years advocate someone staying in a burning building to access and print-out parent/volunteer sign-in records, class attendance sheets and employee timecards? And that the fire department is just gonna stand around and wait while the building burns to the ground for someone to go through all this paperwork and actually determine the whereabouts of every single person who stepped into the school that day before they go in and try to secure the building?

    And are these parents going into schools and hiding in Canada so that nobody can identify that they were ever there without a sign-in sheet? Because down here, parents and volunteers in schools are generally with teachers and not hiding in broom closets. A teacher can easily identify that she had 20 students and Mrs. C passing out cupcakes for Joanie’s birthday at the time the fire alarm went off and say whether all, including Mrs. C., are still with him/her outside.

  27. Warren September 9, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

    Beth, stick with what you know. Firefighters are not going to put themselves at risk on the off chance that someone slipped security, and is still in the building. A location with secure access, and everyone accounted for negates the need to risk manpower. Been there done that from both management of a company, and from my time as a volunteer firefigher.
    If the locations is not secure, and people cannot be accounted for then a search is done. But firefighters are not in the habit of putting themselves at risk, chasing ghosts.

  28. Donna September 9, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

    I don’t walk my kid to her classroom every day but there have been times when she asked me to come see something in the classroom and others when I needed to talk to the teacher when I did walk her in. Why should I only be able to see her classroom artwork at parent/teacher conferences or make special effort to ask her teacher a brief question?

    It sounds to me like many of these rules are just to keep parents out of their way, whether because of too much experience with helicopter parents or unpleasant parents or a lack of interest of dealing with any parents. My daughter’s principal is also a parent of 2 kids who attend the school. I find him extremely welcoming to parents and I wonder if this is just his personality or if the fact that he is also coming from the position of a parent plays a role.

  29. Warren September 9, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    Our school still use an actual sign in sheet. Haven’t wasted vasts amounts of money on security like in the states.

    Oh, and I guess firefighting up here is different than where you live. Our firefighters fight the fire, not just watch it. If according to those incharge at a school everyone is accounted for, the FD will not waste time, manpower, or equipment on a needless search. Because Donna forgets what they do, the FD will move on to fighting the fire itself.

    It is not rocket sceince Donna, it is not that hard to understand, even for a lawyer.

  30. Donna September 9, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

    Warren is being questioned about the logic of his statements so he has to rely on his only defense – being insulting. Not biting Warren.

  31. pentamom September 9, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

    “Why should I only be able to see her classroom artwork at parent/teacher conferences or make special effort to ask her teacher a brief question?”

    I do agree with that, I was just thinking that if they felt forced to keep people out because there were too many meddlers, simply telling people to keep out except for special reasons made more sense than making up socially destructive lies to accomplish it. But best of all is just using common sense, so that parents are free to come and go as you suggest.

  32. Donna September 9, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    I guess this, like many free range issues, goes back to motivation to me. If you seriously can’t stand to not know that your child has made it that last 50 steps to the classroom, you have issues. If you and your kid simply enjoy walking to the classroom together, I don’t see a problem with walking with your kid to the classroom every day.

    I assume that my daughter will be able to be trusted to get to school herself before she finishes 5th grade. I will likely still walk with her to school most mornings because I enjoy it, it motivates me to exercise and it provides a good walk for our new high-energy pup. I will continue to pick her up because kids are not allowed to stay on the playground after school without a parent and she likes to play with her friends after school.

    Free range need not mean that you take every single opportunity to give your child freedom. You can occasionally do things with your child because you all enjoy them.

  33. Beth September 9, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

    I hate myself for feeding the troll, but I have to. Warren, I know more about firefighting than you ever will, and no firefighter or fire department just lets a building burn while waiting for confirmation that everyone who ever stepped into it that day is out, nor will they not conduct primary and secondary searches based on a piece of paper. Your volunteer department received very poor training and appears to have very poor protocols.

  34. Katie September 9, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

    I think Sandy Hook is the excuse and not the reason. I think the reality is they don’t want all the helicopter parents, helicoptering around interfering in every aspect of the day and making it impossible to teach.

    However good luck sending out a memo saying it’s because of the helicopter parents. But say it’s because of Sandy Hook and it’s becomes a lot harder to argue with.

  35. Julie September 9, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

    Our school doesn’t have buses, so parents either walk their kids in or drop them off. We have LOTS of parents who walk their kids to the outside line-up spot for the class, and then say good-bye when the bell rings. The teacher then takes them into class after the tardy bell. Parents do NOT follow their kid into the room.

    During this portion of the day, NO ONE goes by the office to sign in. We probably have 100 parents there in the morning for about 5 minutes, then everyone disperses after the bell. However, if you’re volunteering in the classroom, you’re supposed to sign-in at the front office. Which is done on a PAPER sign-in sheet on a clipboard, that I’m pretty sure is never checked and given a sticker that says VISITOR.

    I’m actually fine with this. Well, honestly, I’d prefer to even skip the sing-in part since 1)I live on the backside of campus, so it’s a lot farther for me to hoof it all the way to office instead of coming in the back gate and 2)clearly they do NOTHING with the sign-in sheet. But I’m glad the security theater isn’t worse, and I’m glad that nothing was done post-Sandy Hook, other than an email sent from the principal saying, Hey guys, don’t forget to sign in.

  36. anonymous this time September 9, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

    Apparently, in North America in the 21st century, the “best” parents are the ones with the most vivid imaginations, who can rattle off several different highly implausible but, yes, possible disastrous outcomes in any situation.

    And by default, the “best” school boards and administrators have this “talent” as well.

    Count me terrible.

  37. pentamom September 9, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

    Very well said, Donna. Wanting to spend time with your kids, to interact with them, whatever, does not automatically equal helicoptering. It’s possible to believe your kid is completely FINE away from you and completely able to do whatever on their own, but still decide you want to be with her for the sake of being with her, in this, that, or the other situation.

    Of course if you do that constantly (and I’m sure you don’t) then you run the risk of unintentionally smothering in a different way. But there’s a difference between wanting to be around them frequently, and never being unable to be away from them or tolerate them being away from you, or never letting them navigate on their own. “I want to be with my kid for X reason” can be an excuse or it can be a real thing — it’s about motivation, not about “I’m more Free Range than thou because my kids do EVERYTHING by themselves and I NEVER play with them.”

  38. Owen Allen September 9, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

    It sets my anti-community radar off. Two big problems that I see in this against family and community. The first is that I would never have accepted a policy where my children (now adults) would never not have access to me or vice versa. I would accept a simple identity check that, indeed I am the parent, but an essential ‘closure’ rule would have had me in ‘protest’. The second is that the school-parent interface is an interdependent one. Schools who aren’t inviting parents into roles for the education of their children are throwing the gift, the baby and the bath water out. Raising the profile of service, engagement and community through parental involvement with children at school is among the better pedagogical approaches. School principals need to constantly ask “Are we here for education, or as conscriptors for an imaginary regime?” That imaginary regime might be an ideology, a phobia, an bias, a personal preference, or just a plain, ‘its more comfortable or easy to handle this way’. And so we train the children.

  39. Papilio September 9, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

    “Some Texas Parents Can No Longer Walk Their Kids Into School”

    WAIT a minute – People still can WALK in Texas??

  40. Kimberly September 9, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

    Not every school with similar rules is doing it because of Sandy Hook.

    Under old rules parents wandered the halls disrupting classes, undermining teachers.

    Now parents can come in with their kids and eat breakfast. They can walk them to the gym – but students MUST go in and sit down. K-1 students must read a book. 2 – 3 begin work on their morning review. Parents are NOT allowed to take their kids to the classroom at this time because teachers are NOT on duty. If we are in the classroom we are off the clock and on our own time. This gives us the time to do things we need to get done. Parents and teachers can make an appointment to meet then but no drop ins.

    7:35 kids are released from gym in grade level lines.

    7:40 Parents are no longer allowed to go back to the rooms – kids are seated working. Teachers are getting lunch count and collecting lunch money.

    7:45 announcements

    7:50 Principal asks all parents to exit the building, and says teachers learning will start now. Teachers send lunch count. Start going over the Morning Work and teaching first subject.

  41. Warren September 9, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

    Well Beth, shall we call you a trollette?

    If 30 people are in the building. And 30 are accounted for, no search is called in. Wow not only are your schools screwed up but so are your emergency services.
    Just like with some of the other posts, and other posters, I do not feel like writing out each and every scenario, each and every procedure, for morons such as you, who has a difficult enough time tying her own shoes.

  42. Michelle Q September 9, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

    In my school, we have the kids left outside to come in together. But it’s not anything to do with safety. It’s because, when parents do come in, they hold the backpack, open the locker, change their child’s shoes, place their agenda in the right spot. There were so many kids relying on their parents. And we’re talking k-6.

  43. Uly September 9, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

    Like Sky, I think it is more likely that Sandy Hook is the excuse and not the reason. And I agree that using it as an excuse is still reprehensible, but it is at least understandable.

    Warren, is it, like, against your religion to be civil?

  44. Heather September 9, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

    Our principal tried to do that last January. I wrote her an email. I couldn’t figure out why it bothered me so much until I was done writing it. Because the truth was my first grader didn’t need me to walk her to class. She just wanted me to. It hurt me to the core of my heart to think that poor madman soooo far away could steal that from me too after he had taken so much already. It made me so mad because it’s victim blaming, that we must place on our children the burden of being responsible for the whims of a mad man. Put a short skirt on them and tell them it’s thier own fault.

  45. Sara September 9, 2013 at 9:48 pm #

    I always thought it was just because we wanted the parents to go away. . . . the first day of school is always half shooing away parents.

    We had parents walking their kids to class the first day of school (even fifth graders), I’d rather they weren’t allowed because I think kids need to walk themselves in.

  46. Beth September 9, 2013 at 9:48 pm #

    Damn Warren, you got me; I don’t know how to tie my shoes.

  47. Donna September 9, 2013 at 10:14 pm #

    Warren, Except if 30 people are on the paper but 33 are actually in the building and we are not even sure which 33 because 4 forgot to sign in and 5 forgot to sign out that day. See, I like my odds a whole lot better in my kid’s school where nobody worries about little pieces of paper and instead Ms. Teacher is responsible for keeping track of EVERYONE in her classroom, including visitors, in the case of an emergency and reporting any missing. There is a decent chance that I will forget to sign in or out, but there is very little chance that Ms. Teacher will forget that there was another adult in her classroom when the blaze broke out. And should Ms. Teacher be tragically killed or stuck by a case of amnesia before she exits the building, I KNOW my daughter won’t forget I was there.

  48. Timothy Cooke September 9, 2013 at 10:25 pm #

    “Some schools in Texas are no longer allowing parents to walk their kids directly to their classrooms, as a result of Sandy Hook.”
    Whoa, whoa, whoa. Stop right there. Exactly how would this have prevented the Newtown shooting? AL gained entry into the building by shooting his way through the glass doors. It’s not like he was allowed inside the building by pretending he was a parent or something like that. This is like installing extra fire alarms after an earthquake.
    Now, this is a good idea. As the article says, this will prevent helicopter parents from trailing their child between the front door and their classroom. But the motive is flat out stupid.

    And Warren, I’m going to ask this question of you that you have ignored numerous times. It will be very visible so you can’t claim you didn’t see it. Yes, if everyone is out of the building and accounted for, no search will be done.

    But how long will that accounting take?

    Will firefighters and rescue teams stand around waiting while every person is checked against a paper sheet? Letting the building burn to the ground even before confirming no one is trapped inside? Seriously? Go away, troll.

  49. Yan Seiner September 9, 2013 at 10:42 pm #

    Don’t forget, Warren is an expert fire fighter, life guard, swim instructor, and CEO. And that’s just this summer.


  50. This girl loves to Talk September 9, 2013 at 11:57 pm #

    where I live its pretty normal for parents to walk their kid up to the door. My kids enjoy me coming in to their class having a look at what they are doing and sometimes the teacher stops for a chat ( I also volunteer and help with art weekly). There are also kids/parents who do the drop and run and kids who go to before/after school care. A nice mix of all three is what I think is BEST.

    Funnily I’ve just made a new American expat friend and she is just amazed at how relaxed Australian schools are and how we can just basically come and go and volunteer with no background check and no visitors pass/having to be buzzed in (our schools are open plan and I just go straight to my childs class to volunteer no paperwork, no buzzed in, no nothing.)

  51. Aneres September 10, 2013 at 1:56 am #

    I am ever more sure that unschooling my daughter is the right choice.

  52. bmommyx2 September 10, 2013 at 3:18 am #

    My son’s school instituted an new policy that requires anyone on campus to stop by the office & sign in (this is not new) and then pick up a visitors badge to Identify them (this part is new)

  53. Charla September 10, 2013 at 3:21 am #

    Sounds like UN Agenda 21. Inventory and control everything in sight. My family did not like public school here in California. So we tightened the belt so tight I thought I might choke at times and put our kids in a small private school of about 75 kids. Before California got insane with food regulations, some of us moms went to school and cooked a hot lunch for the kids. We rotated so they ate homemade, hot lunches twice a week and helped out as needed at the school. We also drove them on field trips, as there were no buses. There was no question of the school not trusting the parents.

    Nobody helicoptered; instead we just interacted AS THOUGH THE CHILDREN WERE NORMAL PARTS OF OUR EVERYDAY LIFE. What a concept!

  54. Charla September 10, 2013 at 3:27 am #

    I REALLY OBJECT to the insulting tone of some in this forum. Lenore, can you block any who CONTINUE with insulting and condescending comments? It is totally OUT OF LINE. Go back to the political forums where people put up with this kind of behavior. That IS NOT what we are about here.

  55. Gary September 10, 2013 at 9:37 am #

    “nor will they not conduct primary and secondary searches based on a piece of paper. Your volunteer department received very poor training and appears to have very poor protocols.”

    So assuming you are/were a firefighter Beth as I was on a truck company for 15+ years you would know the criteria for performing primary and secondary searches for a residence and a high occupancy/large sq/ft. structure such as a school, office building or warehouse are TOTALLY different not to mention it depends on the conditions found during size up…

    And the training his department received goes by what his local authority sets up which is then governed ultimately by the province he lives in, as opposed to say what *YOU* think their training was like.

    I would love to see “what you know…”

  56. Gary September 10, 2013 at 9:46 am #

    “But how long will that accounting take?”

    This is what fire drills are for, it is not just about “getting out in time” but about accountability…

    “Will firefighters and rescue teams stand around waiting while every person is checked against a paper sheet…”

    Lemme tell you how it goes…

    Cops/Chief Officer rolls up on the scene depending on who gets their first, primary size up including a sitrep regarding the status of all individuals that have been evacuated/accounted/not accounted for done by the Chief or in the case of the flatfoot arriving first he just gets a report if everyone is out.

    The Chief then sets up Incident Command and they go from there with searches conducted while primary suppression activities and ventilation (if necessary) are being conducted.

    “Go away, troll.”

    Warren is anything but, you must be new here.

  57. Gary September 10, 2013 at 9:47 am #

    gets *there*

  58. Beth September 10, 2013 at 10:02 am #

    Oh for heavens sake. My fire department considers a primary search to be one of our most important fireground operations, and is conducted often while fire suppression efforts are beginning.

    I didn’t know that this was the weirdest idea in all creation.

  59. Gary September 10, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    “My fire department considers a primary search to be one of our most important fireground operations, and is conducted often while fire suppression efforts are beginning.”

    Well thank you Captain Obvious…

    “I didn’t know that this was the weirdest idea in all creation.”

    No, you showed us that in your earlier comments.

  60. Yan Seiner September 10, 2013 at 10:18 am #

    OK children let’s stop.

  61. Gary September 10, 2013 at 10:21 am #

    “OK children let’s stop.”

    you’re funny.

    “Don’t forget, Warren is an expert fire fighter, life guard, swim instructor, and CEO. And that’s just this summer.


  62. EricS September 10, 2013 at 10:58 am #

    Is that a school, or a military facility or prison? That level of security is only for places that require it. NOT children’s schools. Too many people are so quick and eager to jump on the Paro-train. Incidences like Sandy Hook are rare occurrences. I’ll use the car example again. More children die or get injured in car collisions than all of the school shootings in the last 20 years. Yet, NO PARENT or ADULT is locking down on driving kids around. And I can bet any money, that many of these parents drive distracted. Which we all know, is just as bad as DUI. These selective fearing is ridiculous. Just like the people who do them. And the only ones that will suffer, are the children. Keep the kids “safe”, and mess them up along the way. Talk about irony. lol

  63. Donna September 10, 2013 at 12:04 pm #


    I think everyone understands that there are accountability procedures in place in every school to attempt to ascertain the location of everyone before the fire fighters attempt search and rescue operations. Visitor sign-in and sign-out sheets are simply not an integral part of that as Warren insists rather than admit that his school is as crazy as the American ones to make parents sign in and out for no real reason. Sure it sounds good to claim that it is in case of fire, but such lists are too fallible and time-consuming to be a main resource in a true emergency.

  64. Gary September 10, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

    Accountability is an integral part of the process especially since here in the states it is a part of the Emergency Action Plan as dictated by OSHA ( I do EHS for a living), now as to the practical functionality of that plan it is up to each workplace to conduct drills to make sure all works properly. As far as schools while OSHA does not have jurisdiction over them FEMA does have a training document for Multihazard Emergency Planning for Schools and “other individuals” are addressed which could be procedure speak for “visitors.”

  65. John September 10, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

    Walking your kids to school doesn’t necessarly mean you don’t think they’ll get there safe without an adult chaperone. Many times parents and grandparents may occasionally walk WITH their kids to school as a family outing type of event. When my nephews were in elementary school and during a family holiday visit from the grandparents, uncles and aunts including myself, we would get up with the kids and walk with them to school. It was a great way to bond with them AND to meet their teacher and principal in the process. It would be a shame if something like that was no longer allowed.

  66. Warren September 10, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

    Well Tiny Tim,
    I am not going to speak to things where you are. But in Ontario, the head counts are completed by a safety designate, before the Fire Dept. even arrives. Usually the safety designate has done a cursory sweep of the location as well.
    So when the Fire Dept arrives they are informed that everyone is either accounted for or there are persons missing. It is not a difficult process, to understand. Workplace safety may be a new concept to some of you backwoods types, but here we know what we are doing.

  67. Sherri September 10, 2013 at 10:41 pm #

    Where I am from in Canada parents never have walked their kids into school and to their classrooms. Kids line up outside on the playground when the bell goes, then they file into building. We do require any parent who wants to enter the building past the office to sign in to a visitors book and take a visitors pass.

  68. mystic_eye_cda September 11, 2013 at 10:58 am #

    Kids don’t need parents to escort them, on the other hand I wouldn’t put my kid in a daycare that doesn’t let me drop by unexpectedly so I’m not sure why I would put a four year old in school and be ok with it. And yes school starts at age four here.

    I know really bad, ludicrous things (kids being made to sit at their desk after they peed their pants, being forced to pee in buckets, strip searched, locked in closets, etc) are very, very rare. And likely random parental spot checks won’t help very much. That being said being told you can’t check up on your kid isn’t exactly a reasonable thing to be told

  69. Earth.W September 13, 2013 at 1:48 am #

    I like it if it keeps the Klingon parents away when they should not be there.

  70. Gravy September 16, 2013 at 12:30 am #

    It seems to me that being a fee range parent is just code for “I don’t want to take care of my kids and I don’t particularly enjoy them as valid companions”.