Hot On The Titties Friday: Blackmail or Volunteer?

by Cookie

Ok Kids, Happy Hot on The Titties Friday!  Today’s topic is:

Volunteer Work.

Huh?

You read that right.  As parents, I’m sure you have already been introduced to being “asked” to do volunteer work by helping at your kid’s hockey game or music program.  Most of that seems reasonable to me.  It’s difficult to run extracurricular programs without volunteers from time to time.  And in the case of outside school activities, you are there much of the time to watch, encourage and cheer on your kid anyway, so why not help out as needed?

What I have a problem with is a requirement to volunteer in your child’s school.

A friend of mine was telling me last week about how her child’s school requires her to do something like 24 hours of volunteer work in the school, during school hours for her children. And if she isn’t able to complete her volunteer work, she will be charged an additional 200$ per child for her failure.

Pardon fucking me?

This is a local private school, where she already pays tuition. And I suspect (though I may be wrong) that the school receives some extra government funding or subsidies as well.

I can understand asking for help for school concerts or trips or maybe after school sports programs.  But in the classroom?

I’m sorry, but aren’t there educated, certified people there being paid to do their fucking job?  And if they can’t handle their job, maybe we should find someone else who can.

24 hours of volunteer work equals 4 full days a parent would have to take off work.  That’s more personal days than most people get at work in a year.   That’s almost as many sick days some folks get.  That’s almost an entire week of vacation you’d have to burn.  Because the people you are trusting to educate your child are either lazy or incompetent.

I asked my Favourite Mother-In-Law ( she’s my only MIL, but she’s my favourite nonetheless) if she’d ever seen this in the public school system.  She is a retired grade one teacher.

She just kinda looked at me in disbelief and said never.  Not in the classroom, not once.

So here is the dilemma.

First of all, the definition of volunteer is: A person who freely offers to take part in an enterprise or undertake a task.  (from Google)

The definition of slave labour is: Labor that is coerced and inadequately rewarded, (also from Google)

You decide.  Should a school be allowed to demand this?

And here is the grey area.  What about after school activities that we enroll our child in?  Most of them require a commitment to a certain amount of volunteer work, or they will cash a cheque written at the beginning of the year.  It’s a tough one, because when you consider how many things we try to expose our children to, that’s a lot of hours “volunteering” ourselves.  Or a lot of extra money.

I guess the other thing I’d like to know is where does the money go to?   Does it help to cover the cost of hiring someone to do that job instead?  If so, fair enough.  If it goes to something else, I’m not sure that’s a legitimate tactic.  It sounds kind of like blackmail to me.

Personally, I would happily pay more up front if it means all of the right people are in place doing the right jobs.  “Expensive!” you cry.  Yeah it is.  Kids are.

But maybe it means that you pay a little more to increase the quality of the programming, but the child does one less activity.

Maybe all of this is just the world’s way of telling us that we are too busy.  Because in order to do anything right, you have to be able to devote time to it.

Except in the school system.  Those fuckers are on their own. 😉

Anyway, enjoy your Friday discussion, kids.  I’m curious to hear your opinions on this, because I’m not entirely sure how I feel one way or the other.

Convince me.

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