There's More to Life Than Knitting!

Join Suna as she stops knitting long enough to ponder her life, share her joys and concerns, and comment on the goings on in the world.
You are very welcome here, so feel free to comment and contribute!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Just a Sinner, That's Me

Remember that nice post about how much we enjoyed the football game last Friday, and how nice it was to chaperone together? Well, scratch that. We live in sin, so we are not welcome on the bus.

Here is my original pissed off email, which I am not actually gonna send, of course. I will engage in a reasonable dialogue and make my points calmly, and appear to "not take it personally." Because, of course, it turns out someone else's past behavior is why we are being singled out.

Dear Band Directors and Band Boosters,

Today I was informed by email that my Domestic Partner, Lee [surname deleted], was not welcome to chaperone band students or travel with them to and from events. The insinuation was that because we are not legally married, he is not their guardian and thus unqualified to sit on the bus. I listed Lee as guardian on the forms I turned in to the band and to the school. My children’s biological father lives out of state and very rarely is in town when a band event is occurring, so Lee does the day-to-day parenting. You can scratch Lee’s name off, however, if you also deem that listing inappropriate.

I am sure that whoever complained about Lee chaperoning will rest much easier now, knowing that neither of my children’s guardians will be at future band events, nor serving on the scholarship committee—how could unmarried adults with a lifetime personal commitment competently judge the character of middle school students, anyway?

Seriously, though, I suggest that basing qualifications for chaperoning our children on marital status alone might not be the ideal practice.

For example, the church we are members of allows domestic partners and even single people with no children to teach religious education classes. However, they run a background check to make sure these people are not registered sex offenders, convicted felons, or whatever. I feel good knowing that the teachers have been checked out. You could be a sex offender, a convicted felon, a drug addict or who knows what, but as long as you have that marriage license in your hot little hand, you can ride the bus for [deleted] High School.

I’d feel much safer knowing my children were being taken care of by people whose character and qualifications had been checked, not by people who qualified merely by giving birth or entering into a legal contract with someone who gave birth to a student in band. Could you please consider something like this in addition to the legal qualifications you now have, since they seem important enough to alienate potential long-term volunteers and former dedicated band boosters?

And here are some interesting facts. Lee has passed many drug tests as conditions for employment, and since he is looking for work right now, is passing background checks right and left right. No convictions, tickets, warrants or anything are on his record. He is also qualified to drive a school bus or semi truck. Wow, wouldn’t that come in handy some day? Too bad he isn’t MARRIED!!

While being treated as second-class citizens means you have lost me and Lee as band volunteers, you may wish to consider more appropriate criteria for determining future chaperon qualifications. I know we’re in Williamson County and all that, but I find it hard to believe that there are not others in the area served by [deleted] High School who aren’t fans of marriage but are committed partners. Heck, I think we even have a couple of gay families hiding somewhere. I hear they care about their kids, too, but our state doesn’t allow them to marry.

Thank you for considering my suggestion.


[my name and address deleted]

PS: Maybe you’d better ask other band parents to show their marriage licenses—you wouldn’t want any other unmarried couples sneaking on buses!


Liz T-G said...

Amazing. Absolutely amazing. I am sorry you have to deal with rude, obnoxious people masquerading as "good" ones, Suna.

Jody said...

That's completely crazy and disappointing. I know how much fun you guys had with the band stuff and this is simply absurd.

You might want to [delete] the other references to parnter's name and high school name if you're going for the anonymity thing. ;)

Suna said...

I deleted the errant school name. Anyone who reads the blog would know Lee's name--I'd meant to indicate I omitted his last name.

nyjlm said...

how frustrating! I'm glad you could get your feelings off your chest before working on not taking it personally : )

I'm in a similar conundrum- as likely the only Jewish family in my kids' elementary school I am trying to figure out the best way to approach the fact that it might be a good idea to avoid scheduling curriculum night on the second night of Rosh Hashanah. Of course, I've already tried to have discussions about why clip art of the Holy Family is a bad idea in the PTA newsletter, as well as why it might not be so hot to read an Easter book to kids that includes Jesus carrying the cross, etc.
*breathe in, breathe out*

Cheri said...

Oh brother! This is just crazy.