Morgan-Lee has an outing on Thursday, to a local gymnasium. She’s very excited for it, as she can’t wait to go on the bus again! I personally haven’t thought twice about the outing; I signed the permission slip last month, and just need to remember to pack a disposable lunch. This morning however, as I sat in the stands getting ready to watch the inter-house cross-country, 1 of the mom’s from her class came up to me, and asked if I could arrange for updates to be sent through on the Whatsapp group (I’m the class mom). She then said that it’s apparently raining on Thursday, and that the bus will be going down Field’s Hill, which has awful drainage and has a notorious history of fatal accidents. Just Google Sanele May – you’ll be shocked.
Anyway, I happily agreed to get in touch with the class teacher and to send through updates as I got them. It then got me to thinking; how did our parents manage? There were no Whatsapp groups, no smart phones, barely even a cellphone! Updates were communicated by the child hopping into their parent’s car at the end of the school day, regaling the tales of the day’s outing. Yes, it isn’t 20 years ago. The roads are different, drivers are different, and South African roads have become a dangerous place to be. But have we as parents lost all faith in our teachers, in that we can’t trust them to phone us or the school in the event that something has happened? I personally don’t need the updates; if something happens I’ll be contacted, I know it. I don’t need photographic updates etc, but that’s me. I respect the other parents’ worry and stress, and as class mom I will happily comply. No, it isn’t 20 years ago, and times have changed. With the times changing, we as parents have had to adapt, have had to become inventive almost to keep our children safe.
I trust my daughter’s school to inform me of anything, should anything happen. I trust my daughter’s school with her well-being and safety, and I think more parents need to do the same.