Ever since the brutal massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, parents are taking extra precautions to keep their kids safe, even while at school. One mom even hired a body guard to protect her daughter’s school. But more parents, like Becky Rutland, just want to visit their kids during their school day to stay involved and make sure they are safe.
Unfortunately for parents like Rutland, the school her children attend is attempting to ban parents from visiting the school during lunchtime. And parents aren’t happy about it.
“Everyone is very frustrated, very angry,” parent Becky Rutland told Fox News. “I feel like it’s a violation of my rights as a parent.”
Rutland’s four children attend Clovercroft Elementary School in Franklin, Tennessee. Like a number of other parents, she enjoys visiting her kids during their lunch period.
“They’re gone from me every day for seven or eight hours,” she explained, noting that sporadic lunch time visits all her “to see them, to touch base with them and to know who their friends are.” She enjoys being a part of their school day, and seeing that they are safe and happy.
Under the proposed policy implemented by the school, parents would have to apply and obtain vouchers to visit their children and would only be able to do so two times in a nine week period.
Carol Birdsong, a spokesperson for Williamson County Schools, reported that the principal came up with the idea in light of the school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.
“Based on that, she thought it might be good to implement a voucher-type system,” she said.
“Please remember the primary purpose for this process is to ensure that we are able to account for all the adults in the cafeteria enjoying lunch with their children,” Principal Laura LaChance wrote in an email to parents.
“To my understanding this is a plan that she’s putting into place to protect our children,” Rutland said. “I’m angry about it.”
Rutland believes that parents are not the problem but that the school is usurping a parent’s role in protecting and looking after the well being of their children.
“I firmly don’t believe that parents are the problem here,” she said. “And if anything, taking parents out of the school is more dangerous than having a parental presence in the school.”
Rutland is not the only parent who keeps tabs on their kid during the school day and feels like the principal is “creating more loops” to “limit parental involvement.”
“We’ve asked all of our principals to halt any programs they were planning,” Birdsong noted. “This program won’t be implemented until the audit is completed.”
Birdsong said armed deputies are already providing security in the district’s middle and high schools, and they’ve asked for funding to put armed officers in elementary schools and says that she understands parent frustrations.
“We have extraordinary parental involvement and we are very proud of that involvement,” she said. “We always encourage parents in our schools. It’s one of the reasons we are so successful.”
“I don’t feel like a principal or anyone else should be able to tell me when I can and can’t see my children,” Rutland counters. “I don’t feel like a school administration knows what’s best for my children.”
Do you think that parents should have free access to their children during the school day?