How do we balance school safety and parent involvement?

Keeping our kids safe at school is very important. It is important to protect them from physical harm, verbal harassment and cyberbullying. In fact, a school district in Northern Idaho recently had to deal with dangerous cyberbullying.

Schools need to be safe, or kids cannot learn.

But what about cupcakes?

When school began, I secretly copied my kids’ locker numbers and combinations so I could leave them fun locker surprises throughout the year (for birthdays, cross country meets, big exams, etc.).

On my daughter’s birthday, I showed up at the school with cupcakes.

I could have walked to her locker without going into the office, but the sign at the entrance states: “All visitors need to check in at the office”. I wasn’t planning on visiting anyone, just a locker, but since I am a rule-abiding mom, I went into the office.

I stood there, with my plate of cupcakes, and listened to the school secretary tell me that no one is allowed “on campus” during school hours. I would have to come back after school was over. Since it was during school hours, I was not allowed in the hallways, much less to my daughter’s locker. Feeling unwelcome, I took the cupcakes back to my car and drove home.

I appreciate school security. I want my kids to be safe.

But I also want to be a part of my kid’s school. I want to do more than pay my taxes and wave at my kids when I volunteer at the school. I want to be able to make school a joyful place. I want my kids to associate happiness along with rigorous learning. I want to leave them surprises in their lockers. I want to feel welcome.

Are we only allowed to be at the school if we are volunteering to help in the classrooms?

How can school administrators keep our kids safe, while also allowing positive parent involvement? Tell me what you think.

My daughter was able to eat her cupcakes at home and even made herself a beautiful cake.

Melanie Flake

Melanie Flake

Get EdNews in your inbox

Weekly round up every Friday