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Letter To The Signal Mountain Middle

I need to speak with you, and possibly (The Chaperone) and (The Choir Director) as well. I find what happened on the Honor Choir Field Trip to Maryville College on Friday, November 16, 2012, to be appalling and, quite frankly, potentially very embarrassing for Signal Mountain Middle School. My daughter was very excited about both being in Honors Choir and excited about the field trip. Her Chaperone was (Name Omitted), whom I do not know. Apparently, after the rehearsal, the Chaperone took my child and some other children, to a restaurant to eat dinner. When they arrived at the restaurant, my daughter noticed that the restaurant was on CBL Properties. She mentioned to the Chaperone that both she and her friend (also present) were not allowed to be on CBL Properties. (My child has never been in trouble, nor
cheap ray bans is she a trouble maker, but two weeks ago, she was at Northgate Mall, and she was wearing her "Heelie" shoes, which I am sure that you know are shoes with wheels. She ended up running into someone (no injuries or anything) and the Mall Officer told my daughter and her friend that they were banned from "all CBL Properties" for six months. She called me, very upset, and I told her to have the Chaperone call me so that I could explain this to her in a reasonable manner and that I would look into exactly what the ban covered, and we, as adults, would be able to straighten out the entire matter. I expected a call back from the chaperone, since this was really a minor issue at this point, but never did receive a call from the Chaperone. My daughter called me again, crying and very upset, and told me that the Chaperone had called her and her friend "a mess" and that she was not going to chaperone them. I told my daughter to have the chaperone call me, again, and she said she would, but the Chaperone told my child that she was just going to let the Choir Director call me instead.

Then, after several minutes, the Choir Director finally called me. The tone that she used had at the very start of the call was rude, loud and emotional. It was apparent that she was already mad, and started off the conversation exactly like this:

"Well, I’ve got some bad news for you. You need to come pick up your daughter right now. She is insubordinate and refused a direct command from my chaperone to do something. My Chaperone will not chaperone her. Come get her now, or else I am calling "juvie" (juvenile hall) to come pick her up because she does not have a chaperone. She has wasted my time and ruined my dinner and ruined my chaperone’s dinner. You need to come get her now." NOTE THAT ALL OF THIS WAS SAID IN FRONT OF MY CHILD, WHO IS TEXTING ME, ASKING ABOUT "JUVIE" AND VERY UPSET.

Needless to say, I was absolutely shocked and asked the Choir Director to tell me exactly what my daughter had said and explain exactly how she had been insubordinate. All the Choir Director said to me was that my daughter had denied a direct command and that she was not a representative of Signal Mountain Middle School and made the "juvie" threat again. I tried to explain about the CBL ban and its parameters, but the Choir Director was not in any position by that time to even listen rationally to me.

This whole matter could have been easily averted if the Chaperone had just called me when my daughter rightfully told her about the CBL Property matter. If she had called me, I could have explained that to her, and looked into whether the ban applied to all properties, or just those in this area. If it didn’t apply to all properties, then I would have told my child that she was fine to go in. If it did apply to all properties, then I would think that the Chaperone would have just picked another restaurant. But, she never called me.

Then, if the Choir Director had then taken a minute to calm down before calling me, I could have explained the matter to her, and they would have either gone into the restaurant if the ban did not apply to other areas, or gone somewhere else. It really was made a much larger deal that it needed to be, and all my daughter was doing was 1) honestly telling the chaperone about the "ban" and 2) obeying what she had been told by the Northgate Mall Officer. For an adult, who is representing Signal Mountain Middle School, to tell her to basically ignore that ban was irresponsible and very confusing to a 13 year old child. All this really shows is that my child IS an honest child, who took very seriously the words and warning of the Mall Officer and told the chaperone about the ban, which is what she should have done.

Then, for the Choir Director to yell at me, in front of my child, and threaten to leave her in Maryvile with "Juvie" is incredibly frightening to a child.

All of this is very upsetting and sad and it is a shame. I asked the Choir Director for the Chaperone’s full name (which she still has not told me herself, and I had to find out from my child) and your contact information, which she never did provide to me.

So, essentially, what you have on your hands is a chaperone who 1) quit her job in the middle of the field trip, 2) told my child to disregard a mandate from an officer, and 3) failed to call me directly to check out exactly
cheap ray bans what the CBL ban included. Then, you have a Choir Director who heard the story from one source (the Chaperone) and made up her mind, and then called me angry and made scary threats in front of my child, causing my child to be fearful and scared and alone.

I hate for Signal Mountain Middle School to have any additional negative publicity, but I am appalled by what happened.

I would like to have an in person meeting to discuss this. I have no other way to contact you except through your work telephone number and this email. Please contact me either by email or my cell phone.

Thank you for your attention to this.

Kudos to your daughter for (1) earning a spot in the Honor Choir and (2) demonstrating good character and responsibility in her concern that she abide by the order of the CBL Mall Officer banning her from all CBL properties for six months. None of us is perfect, and your daughter showed great maturity in taking responsibility for her prior error in judgment at Northgate by seeking to "do the right thing" on the field trip. I, too, am sad and disappointed that the adults on the trip chose to disregard your daughter’s concerns.

However, given that your daughter was "operating under these constraints," I wonder why you did not take the time to give written notification of that fact to the trip/choir director and chaperones prior to the trip? Most likely you never thought it would be an issue I do understand that but it became one that possibly could have been avoided. The next time you need to email Principal Copp, this is an easy way to do it without the need to utilize public media. I myself have always found Ms Copp to be quite responsive to any concerns I have emailed to her.

Middle school is a tough age, and not all parents share the same parenting or even life values. We parents assume a risk when we permit our middle schoolers to go on field trips chaperoned by adults who are unknown to us. I am sorry that this trip worked out the way it did, but I applaud your daughter for trying to do the Right Thing. There is an important and positive lesson here for her.

Lisa Smith

Mrs. Wright,

I just read your letter to the principal of SMMHS and I must admit that I am scratching my head a little here. I frequently read these posts and have never had an urge to write a response until I came across yours.

Call me old fashioned, but I believe when you have a problem with someone, you go to them directly and address it. You said that you had no way to contact the principal? Really? Seeing that you are an attorney, I must respectfully say that I would assume that you had the common sense to at least google it. Or maybe even go old school and look in the phone book. Or even go by there and try to make an appointment before you post this in front of the world.

Of course I have no connections with SMMHS. I was not on that field trip, so I do not really have a dog in this hunt. However, before I left to stay home with my children I was a school counselor. I can say with that school administrators will give every reasonable effort to work to address problems when they are approached directly and professionally. A letter to the editor is not only distasteful, but in this case you have done your part to "publicize" this incident and bring poor attention to
replica ray bans the school, just what you apparently "did not" want in the first place. For future reference, please go directly to the principal, if you are still dissatisfied after communicating with her, you can address the middle school director by calling central office.

I am glad CBL lightened up on your
fake ray bans daughter. Just in time to get her shopping done!

Also, to the editor, kudos to you for omitting the name of the choir director.

Lisa’s response reads like the HCDE public relations talking points held in a file reserve for HCDE, when they fail to respond or act appropriately to situations for middle school students. Oh, it is never the school’s fault.

In 2007, I filed a formal complaint to the State of Tennessee Department of Education, because the school system lost the education plans for an entire special education class, mostly Autistic spectrum children, and failed to implement provisions of the plan for my son.Articles Connexes´╝Ü

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