Tuesday, October 28, 2008

a dissatisfying email exchange with the head of school at KDBS

Previously I wrote to our children's elementary school complaining about the prominent sale of fur-covered toy kittens at the fall festival, as well as the rampant handing-out of live goldfish to small children who hadn't gotten their parents' permission (my children didn't get any fish; they've been brought up to take animals very seriously and would not accept one without conferring with a parent). Today I got a vague and unsatisfactory response from our new head of school:
Dear Carole:

Thank you for getting in touch with your concern regarding the toys sold
and pets distributed at Festival. As I'm sure you can imagine, one of the
challenges of putting on an event of this nature is managing the vendors
who are selling items in the boutique. As a school, we try to monitor
carefully anything that could carry with it an implied endorsement. The
festival boutique presents real challenges to this endeavor.

I appreciate the concerns that you have raised, and we will certainly take
them into consideration in preparing for next year's festival. We are
always working to improve the environment for our girls at Burke's. Thank
you for bringing your concerns straight to us. I am a believer in direct
communication and assure you that we do take your concerns seriously. As
we begin working with next year's festival chairs, we will be certain that
this issues are fully explored.

Best,

Kim Wargo
I wrote back:

Thank you for your response. I would like to point something out, however: the fur toys were not sold by an outside vendor. The fairyland area, like the KDBS spa, the home cooking booth, etc..., is done by parents organized through the festival committee. It's more of an organic part of the event, as opposed to the vendors who come in for that day to sell. I would note that also the school posted fliers for the fairyland zone ahead of time at the school (which got my children fired up to go see it; indeed my daughter had intended to spend her $50 birthday money there). Accordingly I do think it is appropriate to hold this (and the fish, which were given by the school as prizes for playing games) against the school. It's not something done by an outside entity without oversight by the official organizers; it's part of the festival which is planned and created through the official committee.

Due to this issue, our family has decided to break with our tradition of donating to the KDBS annual fund and instead donate that money to PETA. I hope that Burke's will evaluate its lack of policies about fur and laissez faire attitude about the goldfish prizes before the next festival.
I had previously decided that if I didn't get a satisfactory answer, I did not wish to donate to the school's annual fund this year. The Sober Husband agreed to that, and instead we'll be donating to PETA. Oh, how I love donating to PETA when someone pisses me off on an animal issue. I would never make a donation in someone else's name -- that would be rude -- but I am happy to inform people that I'm donating inspired by them (even when I'm angry, I try to split those etiquette hairs properly).

11 comments:

hughman said...

someone isn't going to be asked to be on the PTA board this year.

weeeeee!! more time for reading and white wine!

Melissa said...

You have to admire the writing skill that results in the vague we hear you but we're not going to do anything kind of answer, though.

I hate above all, the "not really responsible" answer. Either you are, and you defend it, or you aren't, and you agree to change that--but the in between answer sucks.

The answer from the school was basically that they weren't going to upset those other parents who ordered the kittens with real fur, so deal with it.

So your real response was just fine.

Freewheel said...

I think your last paragraph will grab her attention.

hughman said...

also next year you should put an "Adopt a Kitty" booth at the fair. you could put Lucy and Iris in the ring for good measure.

nicoletta76 said...

Ugh! So frustrating! I feel like they didn't get your point!

Anonymous said...

I think that you should stop wasting your time being concerned about the fur covered toys and goldfish that your daughter is being "exposed" to and instead, reconsider the title of your blog. I am pretty sure your daughter will be more effected by a drunk mother than by a goldfish in a plastic bag. And by the way, you should be incredibly grateful that you have Kim Wargo as your head of school. She was the uppper school head at my school for ten years and she is missed horribly. If you really want to see things changed at your school, you should probably stop wasting the head of your school's time with a letter about innappropriate gifts at a fair. You should also stop donating to PETA just to spite your school and instead donate to your school's annual fund because it would help your daughter's education. All in all, there are many more things that you could be doing right now that would benefit your daughter than writing this blog.

the Drunken Housewife said...

Dear Crabby Mother,

Your hostility is misplaced here. The title of my blog is tongue-in-cheek. I am, as a matter of fact, not actually a drunk.

Last week I read to the kindergarten class, supervised a lunch and playground recess, and talked to the head of the public service committee about the school's charity work. My husband and I both volunteer at the school in a wide variety of ways. Don't you worry your little humorless head about my involvement with our school OR about my children's education. My older child, the one upset by the fur, is above grade level in all subjects and spends plenty of time out of school reading and talking to her parents about a wide variety of subjects.

So I shouldn't keep a blog because it isn't time spent furthering my child's education? Well, precious, there are 24 hours in each day. I spend some of those 24 hours doing a daily Sudoku puzzle, checking my email, updating my blog, giving my husband blowjobs, having bowel movements, scooping out the cats' litterbox, and doing a variety of other activities which don't actively further my child's education. If you yourself devote yourself fulltime, barring all personal hobbies, to your daughter's education, well then I would surmise your child will grow up to be a perfectionistic neurotic who fears she'll never be good enough for her obsessive mother. May I humbly suggest you have a drink and try some relaxing blogging?

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm the type of person who will type LOL when I hear something funny and it makes me smile, but I don't *actually* laugh out loud. I rarely do. DH -- I am fucking laughing out loud right now. That was the most classy, blunt, justified, erudite, and graphic put-down I've ever had the pleasure to read. I just had to wipe tears out of my eyes...... Well done...... KEITH, kedspok@aol.com, who hasn't yet figured out how to get his own cute blogger type "handle".....

the Drunken Housewife said...

Dear Keith, you are such a sweet and delightful commenter! I would love to lift a glass to you sometime. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

HELICOPTER MOM ALERT!
Just some advice...
when your kids get into 6th, 7th, and 8th grades, dont breathe down their backs about what their doing and who they are hanging out with. And just so you know, i dont think many people really want to hear about your kid's grades. what grade are they in, anyway? if you care about their grades in 3rd or 4th grade...
wow.

Anonymous said...

if you have time to complain and whine like a little baby about your school, and to spend time writing paragraphs to anonymous readers, its obvious you have no friends. Kim Wargo was a wonderful head of my school 10 years ago. Also, being a MOTHER, did it never occur to you that Kim Wargo has a teenage daughter who could very well be reading your disrecptful, argumentative, and whiny post?
this is one blog i will never read again.