General Question

SuperMouse's avatar

How far should I take my concerns?

Asked by SuperMouse (30788points) September 4th, 2008

This week I went to my kid’s school to update their emergency contact information. All of my information was there, but there was this person I never heard of listed as a guardian! I asked the secretary to remove this person right then, she told me she couldn’t, I would have to call the district office. I called the office, they of course told me I’d have to call the school. I refused to hang up until I knew that person was removed, then I followed up at the school office to be sure it was fixed – it was. Now my question is how many other kids have the same kind of snafu on their contacts? Should I go to the principal? Above his head? Or should I just chalk it up to a mistake, believe it is very unusual, and drop it?

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14 Answers

marinelife's avatar

I think if it was me that I would ask some questions. I would want to know how that name had been added. I would want a representative audit to check for other errors.

If the district was reluctant, I would have some other parents I knew go and check theirs. If there was a pattern of mistakes and the school system still refused to check, I believe I would take it to the media.

One assumes the person whose name was on your child’s record as a guardian could have waltzed in and removed your child from the school without you ever knowing. Kind of scary.

whatthefluther's avatar

Very scary. I like Marina’s gameplan. Perhaps also raise the issue at a PTA meeting. I’m sure the other parents will be grateful you shared your experience.

Snoopy's avatar

@SM. Yikes! One other question/suggestion. Do have any idea who this person is…? Is there any signficance to the person named? (e.g. a registered pedophile or something equally horrifying?)

I like Marina’s and what’s suggestions. One other: A letter to the editor of your local paper….

cak's avatar

VERY scary!! Please, don’t let this get swept under the rug. Personally, if I was in your district I would thank you for bringing it up in a meeting!

Listen to all of the above! ^^^ great ideas!

torisecret's avatar

This is serious. please contact the principal and get to the bottom of this. Childrens safety is a number one priority. If it happened to you it could of happened to alot of other families. There are countless child predators…please dont take this lightly

JackAdams's avatar

I would go to the NEWSPAPERS, as well as every radio & TV station in your area.

The more folks that know about something like that, the quicker permanent changes are made, and other parents will investigate their own contact information, to make sure it is totally accurate.

September 5, 2008, 12:55 AM EDT

Larssenabdo's avatar

All of the above! Feel free to go over anyone’s head you have to until you find someone who’s taking it seriously. I would worry them mercilessly until they could prove to me and the other parents that there was not a blemish in that contact file.

Another thing I thought of. My daughter (HS) has come home and told me things that have gone on at school that I really feel a letter should have been sent home about. Were it not for her mentioning it, I would never have known. This is an instance in which I would like to see a letter go home, saying they found a discrepancy and that they’re conducting a full audit, etc.

Best of luck to you!

BarbieM's avatar

I was wondering the same thing as Snoopy – do you know this person? Was it just a careless mistake where another parent in the school ended up entered on your child’s information or was it something more troubling? Either way it needs to be looked into further.

SuperMouse's avatar

I do not know this person at all. I have received some mail (from the school district) at my house addressed to an individual with the same last name. I think that someone in data entry entered their name with my address somewhere along the lines and that is how this person ended up on my kid’s contact information.

JackAdams's avatar

Even if this turns out to be a one-time-only isolated incident concerning human error where someone was entering data into a computer file, it still needs to be thoroughly investigated, to determine that such is indeed the case, and school district policies need to require that contact information be routinely updated, with the input of THE CHILD, because even if the child is not old enough to read and write, s/he can still be asked if certain names are familiar to him/her, when s/he hears them.

(The above has to be the longest single sentence I have ever composed, in my entire life.)

Part of the problem with contact information, is that telephone numbers change, people die (or move) and divorces happen. This is why such periodic reviews should probably occur, every 90 days or so.

And again, THE CHILD should be a part of that review process, if s/he is considered mature enough to offer sound/reasoned input.

September 5, 2008, 10:18 AM EDT

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Have you tried googling the person’s name? It won’t tell you how it ended up being associated with your house, but it can’t hurt.

scamp's avatar

Go as high up as you can to get some concrete answers on how this happened. As the others said, tell all the other parents what happened so they can check their children’s records as well.

This may have been just a simple error, but the possibilities are pretty scary. I think La_chica_gomela is right, do a search on this person and see what you can find out about him/her. If it were me, I’d check the name on a sexual predator site also. You just can’t be too carefull these days in protecting your children.

dland's avatar

First of all, good job for checking.

Second, despite all the people above who told you how scary this was: don’t panic. People make mistakes, which may be how this person’s name ended up as a guardian for your child.

Schools have layers and layers of rules intended to protect their students, but rules often get in the way of doing reasonable things: this may be why the secretary said that she couldn’t make the change—maybe she really couldn’t without approval, or a password or… who knows?

Remember, too, that people are intimidated by “the system” (the computer, the school administration, the district, etc.) and may not be willing to go against “it, so it sounds like you did the right thing going up the chain ‘til you found someone who would or could—someone who felt that s/he was “the system” :-).

In the end, it makes sense to ask around ‘til you find out how this person ended up as one of your child’s emergency contacts, and to ask what the school is doing to prevent a repeat. It also makes sense to ask other parents to check their own records, and if a pattern of mistakes emerges, go to the school board or PTA to request (not demand—you want them to be on your side in this) that an audit be performed across the school.

lovelylady's avatar

it depends on the concern.

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