January 10, 2000
This letter is to express my disappointment and dismay at the treatment of our ward in an incident involving his teacher and the school nurse on Tuesday, January 4.
The circumstances of the incident point to a rigid school policy that serves no practical purpose or, at its worst, a lack of compassion and understanding for a child attending a Northshore Elementary School.
On that afternoon, after class, approximately 3:40 p.m., my ward asked to use the phone to call me at work for a ride home. His foot had been injured over Christmas Break and it was bothering him. And although this was not of an emergency nature, he felt he might injure himself further during his walk home.
To his dismay and my surprise, his classroom teacher and the school nurse refused to let him use the phone. He was not allowed to contact me.
I can understand certain restrictions on use of school phones, as there are probably many opportunities for abuse. However, are your measures so strict that the cost of a local call would prevent a child from contacting his parent or guardian? If that is the case, and school policy overrides common sense and compassion, then perhaps school district officials should re-evaluate those policies.
I would very much appreciate an answer and reason for this incident. I always assumed that teachers and school staff are at least somewhat responsible for children, even outside of the classroom. I hope I'm not incorrect in my thinking.
Michael L. Rogers, Bothell