In part because life is crazy busy and in part because I am assured things are changing AND I see evidence of these changes coming, so I am trying to just wait and not complain while hoping it gets resolved before the end of my oldest's senior year (this year)
So the first thing they are doing is updating the system which is 14 years old. Instead of having prospective volunteers typing in our own info on a website and using the honor system to screen out those willing to tell on themselves, now everyone (volunteer or not) will simply scan their state issued ID on the way into the school. This is far better than what I was asking for which was a change in the screening guidelines (which I am told is also coming soon)
Currently, at large events that do not require you to be a dividend, dividends sign in on the computer (which, again, only screens out those willing to tell on themselves on their application online), but those who are not dividends just sign in on paper and then take a little nametag sticker and write our name on it. Nobody checks your ID to see if it matches the name you wrote, or checks your name against any kind of list. You just write down a name and walk right in, This means that literally anyone, even registered sex offenders (because some parents ARE) can just walk up in your kid's school as long as they aren't trying to volunteer and are just attending a school event they aren't getting screened in ANY way before they are around students.
With this new system, every single person on campus will be checked against the sex offender registry, regardless of the reason they are there because everyone will scan their ID first thing when they arrive on campus. This is a huge step and I applaud the Seminole County School Board for it because it will make the guidelines more universally followed in all the schools throughout the county and that is a great thing for our childrens' safety and a HUGE improvement to the current system!
I am admittedly a little nervous about using it to scan my own ID for the first time, if it uses the current screening guidelines. I had some nightmares of alarms going off after I scan my ID, lol.
But I am told the overly strict volunteer screening guidelines will be going away soon too. I am hopeful while trying my best to remain patient. I am tired of being on the same "banished from volunteering at schools forever" list as sex offenders. Even though my own PTA has worked with me to find things I can do, there is always this black cloud hovering over me and this nagging voice in the back of my mind when I'm helping out asking am I allowed to do this? Some days I can handle it, but other days it really gets my anxiety worked up. Social stuff is hard enough without this extra layer of worry on top of it.
I am pretty confident things are headed in a positive direction. I will update if I hear anything else. Thank you all, for following my story over the last several years. It means a lot to me :) And to my fellow non-dividend parents, hang in there! Changes are coming!!!
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Ok, first off am I the only one who thinks it's obnoxious how they keep explaining the policy over and over again as if the problem is clearly that I don't understand that I am a big scary criminal on the never ever to be forgiven list and I should just go away and stop trying to help out at my kid's school and just settle for showing up at parent teacher conferences, at event that anyone can show up at (but don't help out, we can't have you looking like a member of our community!) Maybe if they just explain again carefully just how unfit to be around children I am, I will shut up and go home with the rest of the criminals that were properly shamed into giving up.....
But also, I can't be the only one to notice that the screening policy remains unchanged yet this policy is blamed as the reason I am "ineligible" for a Professional Standards Committee Review, but the only reason I requested one is that was the process they put me through two years ago (supposedly under the same policies and guidelines)
So...am I to be screened like an employee or like a volunteer? And which was it two years ago when I was eligible for a review? And which part of the policy/guidelines changed to make me ineligible for that this year?
Take a minute. Help stop the nonsense!
Schools are in desperate need of volunteers.
Counties are actively turning away decent parents with social exclusion under the guise of "safety" while teaching kids that excluding others based on their background is wrong.
My crime was not violent and it did not involve children. Unless you count my stupid, immature self.
Habitual Reoffenders don't go 15 years with no new offenses.
Stop slamming the door in volunteers' faces and then wondering
why there aren't enough parents willing to step up and help out.
Look at your own numbers for volunteers/hours!
Do the math!