Here in the affluent suburbs, it is almost time for the fourth-graders to go on their big, 3-day educational expedition an hour or so away. The program requires a certain number of parent chaperones, but the guidelines are pretty clear as to behavioral expectations. Strictly prohibited by chaperones are:
-drinking on or off the camp site
-use of tobacco or other drugs
-bringing a pet
-use of foul/inappropriate language
-physical interventions with students for disciplinary measures
Wow – they actually have to spell this out here in the ‘burbs. I don’t see firearms, religious texts, or peanuts on the prohibited list, so I guess I can apply.
After the merciful end to spring soccer in the affluent suburbs, there’s finally some Housewives-worthy scoop around here! Now, you’ll be disappointed to know that it has nothing to do with soccer, so please go elsewhere for soccer-related scoop. There you go…
The affluent suburbs are petrified that any bad press will tarnish their otherwise sterling reputation, especially when the word ‘school’ is included. None of this information is found in any newspaper or probably even written down anywhere. But this suburb saw its ugly underside at a parent-chaperoned overnight field trip. This three-night adventure is the highlight of the fourth grade, and many parent volunteers are needed to make it a success. Prior to the field trip, volunteer parents attended a formal orientation to set expectations of their duties and were explicitly notified that alcoholic beverages are in no way permitted at the site. Cigarettes, and/or smoking are also not permitted since the camp facility is deemed school property for the duration of the visit, and thank you very much for not having sex with each other. They had to add that in after a Mom and a Dad who were not married decided to do the wild thing while chaperoning their children. I don’t think they explicity discussed illegal drugs, but they also didn’t mention that pornography, prostitution, or assault of any kind were to be avoided, either. Maybe they weren’t clear enough in the orientation.
A parent (theoretical responsible adult) got rip-roaring, falling-down drunk at the event, and had to be removed from the premises by a theoretically shocked and mortified spouse. In the process, the parent launched a number of anti-Semitic verbal assaults (did I mention the site of the field trip was a Jewish educational facility?). After the trip, the school issued no notice of the incident to parents, so you had to be “in the know” to find out that your kids saw a totally wasted grown-up spewing hateful speech at your big camping-type experience. (Note that when a child was found to have a manicure kit in her backpack on the bus a few months back, a note went home to all parents explaining that there was no threat to personal safety, and that your kids were ok, etc. ) The parent has an obvious addiction problem, and has not been banned from school activities, or suffered any kind of formal sanction. If a teacher had behaved this way, would they be brought up on charges? Fired? School district honchos have left it to the very effective rumor mill to chastise the parent, hoping others will do their dirty work, hoping it simply won’t happen again. Thank goodness none of this made the papers, because that would have been totally embarrassing! Feel badly for that parent’s kids, though OK?