Long Rant: So Frustrated With My Sons' School

Lounge By KitchenKat Updated 29 Sep 2009 , 7:57pm by sadsmile

KitchenKat Posted 26 Sep 2009 , 2:45am
post #1 of 14

Two things: I volunteered to chaperone my son's 4th grade class on a field trip this coming monday. I turned in the reply form at least 2 weeks, plenty of time to get back to me. Never heard anything back. Then yesterday (Friday), my son comes home and says, "oh you're joining us for the field trip." WHAT? Since so much time had passed without me hearing anything back from the teacher, I had already assumed she had enough chaperones and I wasn't needed. Argh! So frustrating that she didn't get back to me in a timely manner. Am I supposed to put my life on hold while waiting for her to deign to reply? It's really pi$$ing me off.

Second thing: We had a 5-day weekend last week. The night before they went back to school, I discovered head lice on my other son! No lice but nits stuck all over his hair. We shaved his hair short, treated him with medicated shampoo, disinfected our home and ourselves. He had no visible nits nor lice so I took him to school the next day. I explained the situation to the nurse and to his teacher. Neither of them knew what to do with the info I gave them. The nurse tried to tell me how to cure it and the teacher went, "oh-kay. Thank you for the info". They're supposed to inspect the class and send out a note to parents explaining the situation. Headlice is very contagious! The clincher is my son discovered that there's another child with active headlice in that class. the child told him herself.

I sent an email explaining what's going on to the Asst. Principal. The next day she replies saying she will have the nurse do the checks and send out notes. My son comes home from school that day (Friday) and still no note, still no inspection. Nothing. I can't believe they're not taking this seriously! I'm trying to do the right and responsible thing by telling them of them of the problem. I could just as easily have kept my mouth shut. I did my part, why aren't they doing theirs?

I am so frustrated at the lack of administrative organization at this school! They demand timely responses and action from us parents yet they lag behind when it's their turn to produce!

Just to put this into perspective, this is not an underfunded, understaffed public school. This is a private international American school whose annual tuition costs as much private college education in the US. (We're lucky that since DH's company sent us here, they're paying the school bills!) The Asst. Principal & all the management team, who are all either American, British or Australian, live in frickin mansions with a swimming pool, household staff and chauffers. The teachers, who are expats too, are paid about 3 times as much as teachers in the US. The least you can expect is efficiency, if not excellent teaching.

In my 14 years as a parent of school-age children I've never had to deal with such mess. Even when we were living in a small town in central Illinois, I've had much better administrative service from our local elementary school.

I've sent calm but assertive emails to the people involved telling them how I feel about what's going on. Let's see how it goes on Monday.

Thanks for letting me rant.

13 replies
indydebi Posted 26 Sep 2009 , 2:50am
post #2 of 14

My daughter has less than 2 years before she graduates. By the time she graduates, I will have spent 27 years dealing with public schools (There are 7 years between each of my 3 kids) and I will be SO glad when I'm done!

prterrell Posted 26 Sep 2009 , 3:13am
post #3 of 14

OP- if you aren't getting anywhere with the princpal/headmaster then go up the food chain. A private school will have a board of directors or a corallary.

jodei Posted 26 Sep 2009 , 3:29am
post #4 of 14

op, i just wanted to let you know that i have had to deal with the exact situation you have with the head lice. i also discovered that my daughter had nits no live ones, went to nurse to inform them so they could send a note home to check their children, just to find out they do not do that due to confidentality reasons. i had to deal with the recurring battle of the lice b/c of one little girl whose mom didnt want to deal with it. she ended up missing 3 wks of school b/c she had it so bad. we go public schools so i went to the principal just to have him tell me that he just had to deal with it at his own home and thats just part of having kids. so i completely understand how frustrated you are.

Mike1394 Posted 26 Sep 2009 , 9:33am
post #5 of 14

About the field trip. How sure are you that your Son didn't "forget" to give you the message.

Mike

G_Cakes Posted 26 Sep 2009 , 2:28pm
post #6 of 14

Boy I can remember those days and I dont miss them!

I had the same problem with my son's school. All three of my boys came home with lice.

We shaved them down and cleaned house but 2 months later 2 of my boys came home with it again.

I a six month period there were 4 lice outbreaks at my boys school and not once did they send any notes home or advise parents.

Well as my DH put's it s*&t rolls downhill so I went to the school board and called our local health department..let me tell you that got results and I later found out the school has a lengthy history with lice outbreaks and had been the Board of Health had fine the school board for not acting on it promptly and properly;y.

The last year that my boys attended the school, the board of health sent home letters stating that if there was another outbreak that parents could get the lice treatments at NO CHARGE by calling a number in the letter.

Needless to say I was relieved that the need never arose.

I would contact the school board and board of health where you live and let the poo roll on down the hill.

So sorry you had to go through that.

Ursula40 Posted 26 Sep 2009 , 2:59pm
post #7 of 14

Where are you located? We live outside our country as well, but we have all email addresses of the other parents, and even if we didn;t i would find out and become proactive. Let the school deal with not just one parent, but with a whole hoard of them. We regularily have lice outbreaks in China, but if the school wouldn't take action, I certainly would, you can bet on that. Luckily our school does warn us

Jenteach Posted 27 Sep 2009 , 1:38am
post #8 of 14

I don't have much to say about the school system since I'm in Canada and my DD is in kindergarten, but I must say that a wonderful treatment for lice is oil and vinegar. The vinegar suffocates the live bugs and the oil makes it hard for the nits to stick to the hair. And the good thing is it's chemical free and you can use it more then once without worrying.....

Sorry to hear about your child's lice and lack of administration in the school. I too agree that perhaps you should go up higher in the ladder to the board....

HTH

Jen

-Tubbs Posted 27 Sep 2009 , 9:50pm
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenteach

I don't have much to say about the school system since I'm in Canada and my DD is in kindergarten, but I must say that a wonderful treatment for lice is oil and vinegar. The vinegar suffocates the live bugs and the oil makes it hard for the nits to stick to the hair. And the good thing is it's chemical free and you can use it more then once without worrying.....



Yes, those chemical treatments worry me too. I used them once, and my daughter had lice again very soon, and I didn't want to keep using them.
I switched to twice daily 'monkey-style' grooming, where I would go over my kids one by one, picking out nits and any lice and drowning them in a glass of soapy water. Kind of satisfying in a sick kind of way!! Fortunately we haven't had them for a couple of years, but the school is very good about sending notifications.

To OP, I agree, go higher and continue to be assertive. I'm sure they will pick up their game if they realise they're being watched by those 'on high'.

frostingfairy Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 5:11pm
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Quote:

About the field trip. How sure are you that your Son didn't "forget" to give you the message.




Exactly the reason a teacher should always send home notes, emails or make phone calls. They should never rely on kids to be messengers.

And I agree with everyone who said to go to the school board with your complaints. Are there other parents who have the same issues? You should all go together....a coalition of annoyed parents is more effective than just one annoyed parent

Ronbob1984 Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 5:28pm
post #11 of 14

As I work in the Health Office of a public school, our state has informed us that because lice are a nuisance and not a health hazzard, they are not to be excluded from school. They also are rarely transmitted at school, more often by staying at friends houses or the sharing of hair accessories in the case of girls, unless the children are very young. The live bugs do not jump. I understand your frustration, but checking the entire class is usually futile. We have had students with chronic pediculosis over the years. I do not know what the guidelines are in your state, but you can always call public health and they will let you know what they are. I am sorry you are having to deal with this.

mbelgard Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 7:19pm
post #12 of 14

Your school might have a policy to not send notes home every time a child gets a typical illness/infestation. Things like lice and strep throat are so common that parents should know are going around a school and to keep an eye out for.

If our school sent notes home every time a child came in with lice/strep/flu they'd be sending notes home every week.

Our school only sends notes home if there is something different going around. A few weeks ago we got a note that swine flu has been in the county so they would be taking precautions with hand sanitizer and wiping desks down on a regular basis. I don't remember any other note coming home about an illness coming home since my oldest started school, he's in the fifth grade now.

Our school does send kids home who have lice and they are not allowed back until it's gone. I think they only check the whole school once or twice a year, if a teacher sees something they send the kid to the nurse.



On the field trip it is possible that your son forgot to tell you until the last minute or that the teacher had someone else lined up and forgot to tell you and then they bailed and she needed you.

MichelleM77 Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 7:19pm
post #13 of 14

Not taking sides, just wondering a few things:

1. It sounds like the teacher assumed that the reply form was a "yes" from you, no need to call and confirm. I'm sure she called other parents to say they weren't needed if she had too many replies.

2. Since you were already aware of the lice situation in your son, no need to send a note home to you?

sadsmile Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 7:57pm
post #14 of 14

ARE you SURE it's LICE?? <--- that was just to get your attention icon_biggrin.gif

Since you said there are no actual bugs...

I'll share.
I was treated for headlice 13 STINKING times before my mother took me to a Dermatologist. Sure as shooting IT WASN"T LICE! OK well one time it was, but that was the one time EVERYONE else in our family had it and it was going around in school. I have hair casts. The pores and hair shafts get clogged and then a irregular lump of hard white whatever it is would build up and then come out stuck around the hair shaft. You can brush them right out but they do look like lice eggs only a little smaller.

I still have them as an adult. It's a differnt kind of dandruff. The Dermatologist said to use Nuetrogena Tsal(salicylic acid) or coal tar shampoo.
Guess what my kids have... But at least I know how to treat it and not to use that pesiticidal/chemical filled shampoo for danruff. And my kids have never had head lice...yet thank goodness what a rig-a-marole!!! I loathed it as a child. My mother and I would sit up for hours under a lamp as she painstakingly combed through my hair for all of my "so called"' nits.

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