When you become a parent, you realize just how fragile life is, and how fast the days go by. It seems like our kids go from being babies to teenagers in less than a minute, which is why we need to make every moment count. Working parents are often faced with having to forego extra time with their kiddos and before they know it, years have passed and they’ve missed out on the simplest things, like enjoying lunch together.
A few parents are outraged as a result of a new policy that one school has passed.
Darien, Connecticut is known for its well-respected schools and wealthy income levels, however; the school district has recently implemented a new rule that bans parents from coming to the school to grab a bite to eat with their children. On average, six or seven parents a day would show up at the school to have lunch with their child, hoping to squeeze out a little more one-on-one time during the busy school week. This went on for a little while before the school decided that it was distracting to the students and they sent out an email to parents, essentially banning them from the lunchroom.
“It feels like a punch in the gut,” parent Jessica Xu, mother of a first-grader. “I chose the town for the schools. I’m so frustrated the schools don’t want me there.”
On the other end of the spectrum, some parents believe that the new ban is appropriate and will only benefit a child’s development both socially and academically. By showing up in the middle of the day, the student naturally gets distracted and pulled from the learning path.
“It was good because kids have to be able to learn how to work with each other and socialize with each other, and putting a parent in changes the dynamic dramatically,” said Beth Lane, a mother in the town.
One of the reasons for the ban was the fact that the staff members had to deal with the upset kids after the parents left, which was distracting to everyone involved.
“From a professional perspective, when we’re the ones left dealing with your child when you leave, it wasn’t good,” said Franzese, who worked for eight years as a special education therapist in Weston, Connecticut. “We would call them helicopter moms.”
Terry Steadman, another mom in the district, sided with Xu and feels that banning parents from the lunchroom, goes against a collaborative environment.
In most districts this is not an issue, considering parents have to remain at their work offices during the day, while their children are at school, however; a district in Bereavement, Oregon was faced with a similar issue. After parents were repeatedly bringing their children warm lunches regularly, they had to put a ban on the daily visits.
“In some schools, it’s not really an issue at all because based on the population, parents aren’t able to come and have lunch. It’s something maybe parents aren’t able to do,” said Tanya Arja, a spokeswoman for schools in Hillsborough County, Florida.