Mar 1 2012
Scary question, I know! But I have to ask it! I just found out yesterday that my child’s safety was NOT first priority to a school employee. This scares me and angers me at the same time! Today I am not talking about bullying, or kids entering the school with loaded guns. Today, I am talking about how safe your child is from strangers calling to get information about them.
Yesterday, my son’s father who has had NO CONTACT with him since August 2004, decided to use the internet and local school to get information about him instead of asking my daughter (with whom he has sporadic contact with) for information or trying to contact me directly. How does this effect my son’s safety at school? Well, he called the school that my son NO longer attends and asked for his contact information — this would have been my first red flag. However, that was not the case. Instead of verifying who this person, on the phone, asking for information pertaining to a MINOR, the school employee just volunteered the information and told this person that my son is no longer enrolled at this school and proceeded to give the information for the new school to this person! OMG!!!!
Now I was not aware of this at first. How I found out about this SNAFU, is that the said “dead beat father” of my son needed to get a hold of me (as per the message he gave my daughter) sooner than later. What was so important? Not getting information about the school my son was attending or even to ask how the kids are doing — since my son and I have had NO contact since 2004 — no. It was regarding about the fact that he is now FINALLY getting served with a child support order for my son — whom he has paid NO child support for AT ALL! WOW … that was what was so important! And that’s how I found out he called the school to get the information. He just called the school and they gave it to him!!!
So I am a really pissed off parent — again!! I called the school in question and the current school. I have yet to hear back from the school my son goes to now. But I did finally get a hold of the principal at the other school this morning — I called him, not the other way around, AS IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN. I got an apology for the situation and that the secretary was spoken to about it and reminded of protocol. OH … and another apology from him because I was not contacted immediately YESTERDAY to at least acknowledge the situation. That’s it. Oh … and a “statement” (not a promise) that he will address this situation at the next admin meeting with the district principals. But that is it! No disciplinary action to the school employee for breaking Safety Protocol, which apparently they have in place. WRONG!!!
So, how safe is my child, really at any school??? Apparently not very! If this just happened to me, I am horrified at the many students put in danger by school employees that do not follow safety and privacy protocol. OMG … COMMON SENSE!!! As a parent, I expect that my child’s safety is the UTMOST importance while they are in school! Yesterday proved that totally wrong!!! The “what ifs” here are insurmountable, and scary at best! And because of this situation, I am asking YOU — how safe is your child at their school?
Important things to do … RIGHT NOW!!! Call your schools and find out what their protocol is about giving out information on your child when some one calls asking about them. Make it very clear who they can give information to — this is the information that we all fill out at the beginning of EVERY new school year — custodial parent/guardian information and emergency contact. And, enforce a password! You, as the PARENT, have that right! And do not let the school tell you otherwise. Be firm, and get rude if you have to. Your child’s safety and privacy are far more important than anything they say otherwise. Period!!!