I Give, and I Give...

Monday, May 12, 2008

Something happened at school last week that I'm still chuffed about. I was going to write a letter to the principal, but thought I may be overreacting. Here's the scene:

I'm dropping DS off at school. Everyone has to sign in before going on campus. The head of the PTO is in the office discussing the latest fund raiser that took place the previous Saturday. It was a dinner dance with a silent auction. I think tickets were in the $25 per person range. We didn't go.

So, someone asks PTO Mom how it went. She says not so good, hardly anyone came, no one was bidding, they hardly raised money etc.

Then she says this, "C'mon people, this is your kids school. Don't you care? [Another school] had this same event and they raised thousands of dollars."

It's not what she said that bothered me, but how. Her tone was so... indignant and bitchy.

I can't tell you how many times this year I've been to Wal Mart carrying yet another letter from the teachers begging (their word) for supplies.

I've bought wrapping paper I don't need, gifts for Teacher's birthday, Christmas, Valentine's Day, Teacher Appreciation Week and the most recent request that came home yesterday for $10-20 for an end of the year gift.

There have been science projects, book fairs, pizza parties, scoop night at the yogurt shop and school pictures. We bought and filled a backpack with school supplies for the underprivileged at the beginning of the year. And I spent $6 on a fridge magnet with one of the lamest pieces of artwork my kid has ever done.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to help when I can. Schools are horribly neglected and teachers are pathetically underpaid. Schools need help.

But listening to PTO Mom complain that we parents aren't doing enough for the school really pissed me off. She may have no problem filling her Mercedes but perhaps the rest of us don't have access to magic wallets.

And I think it was totally inappropriate and tacky of her to say such things out in the open where parents could hear (which would have been my main point to the principal).

The school year ends in a few weeks. I'm over the donating and I would hazard a guess that by now, many other families are too. If this event was so important, perhaps she should have scheduled it in the beginning of the year before all the donation requests and fund raisers went from cute to annoying.

Am I just being touchy? Should I have sent a letter to the principal?
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  1. I don't think you're being the least bit touchy. I think she was totally inappropriate and rude. I would very likely address this with SOMEONE that can rein her in because her comments were utterly insensitive to the fact that not everyone has endless disposable cash.

    It might not be a matter of how much we CARE about our kids' school so much as how much we CARE about feeding our kid instead of making sure the freaking PTO has enough money for next year's clambake.

    Woo. This got me hot on your behalf, I tell ya.

  2. i am THEE wrong person to pose this question to. granted, my son is still only in preschool. a private and already expensive preschool. last week was teacher's appreciation week. thankfully, we have a great room parent that works for a company that sells school/arts/crafts supplies. BECAUSE of the current state of the ecomony, and the current state of our paychecks, we contributed nothing. but the classroom still got all sorts of shit that was amazing and CHEAP, in the grand scheme of things.

    now, had i heard someone in the PTO (why don't they call it "PTA" anymore? pisses me off.) said something like, 'we're not getting enough support from the parents." i would have shit a brick. honestly.

    education does suck in this country. and teachers are incredibly under-paid, but we're all in this together. gas is expensive. groceries are even more expensive. WTF.

  3. I'm on your team on this one! We can only do so much! A letter to the principal is a great idea!

  4. You want to hear something funny? If I'm doing my figuring-out correctly ... I taught at that school last year. Seriously. Same crappy fish art magnets. Email me and let's compare notes...

    (Notice I no longer teach there. I think I even know said Mercedes woman. Ugh.)

  5. I totally agree! There are TOO many things going on these days with our kids. We should not have to have so many parties, rewards, etc - I think that's part of the reason our kids "expect" things!
    We need to go back to special events and occasions. :)


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