I really really really try my best to not bash public schools and I have mentioned this before. I do believe that the people working in the public school systems really are trying to do what is best for the majority of the students and that they have one of the most difficult, underpaid, under appreciated jobs out there. However this morning an event occured that totally could have been avoided and I really just need to rant about it a bit!
As I mentioned we have been having a heat wave here in lovely New England! These are generally common during July and August but it is not totally unheard of it for it to happen in June. This week has been in the 90's and higher everyday and 80% to 90% humidity, but it was suppose to break last night. You are probably wondering how a PS rant has turned to discussion of the weather, but the connection is that KM participates in the chorus at the PS she attended until January and they had their final rehearsal this morning before their concert at the High School this evening. Every year they have debates on having any events in the cafeteria of the elementary school because the circulation in there is just not very good - even after SEVERAL remodels and LOTS of tax money they just have not been able to fix the problem. When we got there this morning it felt pretty good with the ceiling fans going & not too many bodies there yet. The kids started warming up their voices, while standing on risers and you could see some of them getting warm as they were in such close quarters to one another. Then the rest of the students started filing into the room. The max capacity of the cafeteria is just under 700, so with the student body (minus the Kindergarten) rounding out at about 575 and the teachers, other faculty, and parents there they were either just at or over capacity. There is no way to make one room holding that many bodies cool - it is just not possible without a deep freeze machine. The kids got through their two songs and all seemed fine. I had SC with me and she had started fussing a bit as it was getting warm in there so I was kinda going in and out of the room. I was out in the hall when I suddenly hear the music stop and the doors fly open - two teachers are carrying MY daughter out of the cafeteria to the nurse's office across the hall. "It's okay" they said to me very calmly, "She just fainted."
----- JUST FAINTED, JUST FAINTED! That in my book is not a little thing, sorry. ----
Before we even got to the nurses office the song had started up again. They got KM to the cot, she was as white as her shirt. I grabbed some rough school paper towel and wet it down to put on her forehead, while the nurse got her a drink. Before the nurse even got her cup filled they were bringing in another sheet white faced girl. The nurse started saying how they needed to stop, she had told them to cancel the show because it was too hot. She didn't finish her rant before another one came in throwing up. Of course you could still hear the music playing from the cafeteria. I understand the theory of the show must go on, but how many members of a chorus must collapse before they call off the show? The principal, who is a great woman and is usually in the front of every perfomance, had not been there for this one, but as we were getting our stuff together to head home, she came into the nurses office. I honestly have to hope that she did not know that I was in the room because as she walked in she said, "Who was the first one down?" REALLY - I SWEAR! I was astounded and when I turned around to tell her it was my daughter you could see how embarrassed she was at her statement. I know that she wasn't expecting for a parent to have been in the nurse's office that quick, but the kids were there, it was just not an okay thing to say.
I brought my daughter home and she is sitting in front of three fans snacking on some salt crackers, drinking lots of water and watching the Price is Right. Of course I feel worse for the two other girls who were not dismissed and have to go back to class after what I think can be a really traumatic thing. I just can't get over the nonchalant attitude of "she just fainted." If that was there child I can guarentee that would be the last thing they would have wanted to hear. It is not like she just got a scratch or she just stubbed her toe. SHE FAINTED - on stage - in front of 600+ peers.
Again I apologize for the rant, but I just really needed to share this because it shows the disconnection of common sense and lack of connection to the needs of the kids. Did this one last rehearsal really need to go on at the risk of kids well being and against the advice of the school nurse? IMHO - I DON'T THINK SO!!!