Sunday, 9 November 2014

Parent/Guardian Signature








It frustrates me no end that in our digital age I am required to fill out a slew of paperwork, Magna Carta like in proportions, every time one of my children attends an event inside or outside the school.

I know our school is only doing what they are legally required to do, but geez, it’s already recorded on the school database. If they really need to chop down more trees every time this information is needed, why not just print it off the database to save me the trouble of looking up medical contact details and writing it out every single time. Do I really need to list (for example) the name, address and phone number of my child’s GP, unless that GP is managing an allergy plan or something?

Let me make this simple. If something happens to my child, depending on the nature of their injuries/illness, you have my express permission to choose one of the following:


  1. Put a Band-Aid on.

  1. Watch the child in Sick Bay or call me to pick them up.

  1. Call an ambulance! Fast! Don’t even think about looking for your bloody paperwork! And then do whatever you learnt in First Aid while you wait for the ambulance.
  
And, make no mistake, that is exactly what they do, making the paperwork pretty much redundant anyway.

Maybe it’s because my mind starts to wander when I’m filling out those tiresome forms, but every time I do it I can’t help remembering this incident from my childhood:

I was getting ready to leave for school. I must have been in Grade 1 or Grade 2. Packing my lunch and green cordial I noticed a slip of paper with familiar purple typing that had been floating around in my school case long enough to have lost its intoxicating ‘metho’ smell.

An excursion permission slip, requiring the signature of a parent, and due back that very day.

Given that both of my parents had already gone to work, leaving us in the care of our babysitter, I had a problem.

But this was a problem that would never have defeated my plucky heroes from The Famous Five or The Secret Seven, so I put my little thinking cap on and came up with the perfect solution.

From the top corner of a paperback book belonging to my father, I carefully cut out his name, and glued it on to the relevant part of the permission slip. The book was orange so I wasn’t really fooling anyone, but after all, there was nothing on the permission slip stating that the parent had to be physically present to provide the signature.

Brilliant plan!

Sadly, my plan didn’t make it all the way through the system. Somewhere along the line the whole plan was foiled by a vigilant authority figure who noticed the small rectangular piece of orange cardboard glued to my permission slip, and decided it definitely didn’t meet their requirements.

I don’t remember the final outcome, but it probably involved a smack. It was the 70s after all. 


14 comments:

  1. I think I've worked out how to comment???
    This is so you. I can just see you doing this at your Earle St home in our little suburb of Westlawn. And by the way I totally relate to having to fill out these forms...I don't know how many times. Enough times to remember my medicare number without checking!!!!!Congrats on the blog. I've always been interested in writing one myself. However there are two problems: 1) I actually don't know what I would write about and 2) Sadly I don't have the gift of writing as you clearly have.
    Looking forward to reading more posts. x

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  2. Gae. You might need to help me out here. What do I do when I select a profile to comment?
    Leanne Z

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    1. Hi Lea. Did you write both of these comments? Just checking before I answer the main one.

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  3. Thanks for linking up #sundaystars Jess x

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  4. Haha "it probably involved a smack... " Yep. That is what happened to us kids of the '70s :) Great ending!

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    1. Sure did, Fluffy. My teachers were fond of the smack.

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  5. You should have been rewarded for your resourcefulness. As a teacher I'd applaud that :) I'd ring your parents to get verbal permission as well though :)

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    1. Absolutely, Pinky. I really don't remember the details of the outcome, but it definitely wasn't positive!

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  6. Oh the 'rules' of schools and education are just mind blogging aren't they.,.and I am a retired principal. The updated notes are needed, despite the paper waste,as so many times parents/carers do not give the school new phone numbers/contacts and believe me I have spent many a frustrating time hearing "the number you called has been disconnected" and I had a very unwell child on our hands. Of course, in an emergency we called 000 and got the help required. Thank goodness!

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    1. I didn't think of that angle, Denyse. I can't believe parents wouldn't update that information! Thanks for visiting.

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  7. Very resourceful of you!! Thanks for sharing with the #BlogFair

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