Excerpted email, from Kate to Mrs. S, third grade teacher:
Emily’s birthday is Friday. She has asked to bring in Rice Krispie treats with chocolate chips in them. Are there any children in the class with allergies?
Excerpt from reply, Mrs. S to Kate:
Thanks for asking about bring in a birthday treat. You’re the only parent that has this year! It will be just fine. There are 22 in our class, and there are no food allergies listed on my report from the nurse.
Really? I’m the only parent, out of a possible set of at least 22, perhaps as high as 44, that has asked permission to send a sugary treat in for my child’s birthday? In April??
Perhaps she meant that I’m the only parent to ask about allergies. Which is even more appalling, in this day and age of life-threatening allergies to simple innocuous-looking things like peanuts and shrimp (not like I’d be bringing a big shrimp cocktail in for my kid’s birthday, but maybe I want to). Nobody else has asked?
And yet I bet any one of those parents would be happy to point the fingers of blame at any of the teachers or administration if their child got sick or injured during a classroom activity that another parent hadn’t bothered to ask about.
Clearly, I have an overdeveloped sense of social responsibility. I’m going to go step on someone’s puppy and then steal someone’s SSI check at the first opportunity.