The girls came home from school today with the piece of paper I've anxiously been awaiting these past few weeks. The piece of paper that lets me saunter into the girls school with my head held high. The piece of paper that finally allows me to volunteer every week in the classrooms or on the field trips. The piece of paper that states I'm TB free ... and I'm not a registered sex offender.
I've had Embassy security badges that came through faster than this clearance. However, while a small part of me rolls my eyes into the back of my head when I think about the steps I had to take to get myself cleared to volunteer at the school ... submitting my yellow immunization card showing that I had a recent TB test, photo copying my driver's license, signing a form stating that I'm not a registered sex offender, and agreeing to have a background check completed ... another part of me appreciates that the district is making the effort to ensure the kids are safe around me.
Honestly though, they should probably worry more about my OCD with cleanliness and structure than my communicable diseases. I don't plan on sharing blood, and I already know the rules about hugging or kissing, even if it IS my own kid in the classroom.
As the spouse to a Federal Agent, whose career is primarily based around security, I have a heightened awareness of security. Almost to a fault.
In all of our overseas postings, we had to unfortunately be more concerned about terrorism than pedophilia. Matt's office routinely worked with the preschools and International Schools to ensure the safety of all children enrolled. Some overseas schools inherently understood the importance of security (Oman and Israel), while others remarkably just didn't get it (Chennai). In fact, some overseas schools should probably adopt some of the more stringent requirements that we're doing here in Southern California, not only for the parents, but more importantly for its staff as well ... including things like hiring a security manager who focuses on safety rather than on allegedly schtupping nannies in his office. Though I digress...
Despite my sarcasm about these rules for what I call "window dressing" security, I'm happy to follow along. Because everyone knows that once I'm comfortable, not only will I get more involved, I'll even begin to vocalize my thoughts about where the school should focus their security efforts. Like putting a fence around their sandy playground, or devising a safer and more organized drop off / pick up where kids aren't strewn about the front and side of the school. I care, therefore I offer my opinion.
Just don't ask me to join the PTA.