Since when is this acceptable? 18

The weather this week has been terrible, we still have snow despite the thaw and one of the issues the milder weather has brought has been the hazard of compacted snow with an extremely slippery surface.  In fact it is like walking on wet glass, well what I think walking on wet glass would feel.

MadDad and other neighbours have been clearing driveways and the road during the snow regardless of the fact that many people seem to think that there is an issue over being sued if someone falls.  This does appear to be something of an urban legend and I have not been able to find a single instance of this happening.  Contrary to popular myth, it is fine for you to take action to clear your local pavements and pathways.

The school on the other hand have only cleared one path into and out of the school and  not done any work on the pavements outside of the school.  On Thursday morning last week, I took both the boys to school and my neighbours girl and only having two hands, I could not hold all three children and Maxi slipped on the snow and ice, as did lots of children.  It was lethal.  Upon entering the building I tried to raise this issue with the receptionist, who at the best of times needs a personality transplant, but on this particular morning didn’t even try to be polite.  I gave up and took the boys to their class.

On my return I took the opportunity to speak to the head, who whilst wasn’t as dismissive as the reception but did inform me that it was not on school property and, therefore, not their responsibility.  It struck me as this is far too common a response nowadays.  We are all quick to pass the buck.  I wasn’t looking to apportion blame, just look for a solution that was suitable for all.  I was also informed if I had health and safety issues I should keep my children off school (oh and yes that would be an unauthorised absence).  I was furious, this is not the example I want to set to my children.

I decided that I was not going to get anywhere and went to collect mum to come and see Maxi’s nativity.  After the nativity the head came to see me and inform me that the council had been and gritted the paths.  So I took the opportunity to explain that the reception team were seriously lacking interpersonal skills and communications skills.

I appreciate that I probably wouldn’t have been the first person to complain and I am sure I wasn’t the last, but it costs nothing to be polite.  I entrust the school with my most precious possessions, my children and am seriously considering other options at the moment.

To make matters worse all the parents received a letter from school informing us that there has been abuse of the front line staff at the school.  This infuruated me and other parents, as the reception teams attitudes were immediatley defensive and unhelpful.

18 thoughts on “Since when is this acceptable?

  • Domestic goddesque

    How frustrating… you say, you were merely looking for a safe solution for all. I hate it when front line staff are aggravated by having to deal with frontline enquiries. It’s their job for Christmas’ Sake……Double Grrr. And a letter. Much, much Grrrring and gnashing of teeth. Bah humbug to the lot of them. Hope one of them falls on their ample bottoms in the ice.

  • Anna

    I think it is something to do with the word ‘receptionist’ – schools, doctors, dentists… they are always the same. The dobermans of the admin world. Which is a shame because I am sure that if their response had been to you was to apologise and explain that with only 1 janitor, they were trying their best to clear it all (or something along those lines) you would have been much happier and walked away feeling more satisfied.

    I’m a teacher and believe me – they are no better when you work alongside them!

    *sorry to any lovely receptionists who are reading this – I am sure you exist, I am just yet to meet you – get in touch!!

  • Jayne

    My father in law was telling me the other day that it always used to be common practice for everyone along their road to clear the area of pavement outside their house (he used to do both neighbours as well as they were elderly) this ment that the pavements all along their road were safe to walk on. This doesn’t happen any more, my in laws are now elderly and do not have a car, when it is icy we worry about them going out and having a fall (we don’t live near them). It seems that people do not look out for their neighbours like they used to. There does seem to be an ‘It’s not my responsibility’ attitude now days. In our village everyone has been out clearing the driveways and the road and the local farm sent tractors along the roads with snow ploughs to keep the lanes clear. If everyone took a bit responsibility and did even a small amount to help maybe the country wouldn’t grind to a halt ever time it snows.

  • Lorraine

    Yes unfortunately we are now in a society that won’t accept responsibility for anything and like to pass the buck, shrug their shoulders, etc..

    No wonder you are frustrated!

  • @jencull (Jen)

    Our school was the same, they cleared one tiny path through the yard but didn’t even clear a little patch outside the school gates!! Jen

  • Michelle Twin Mum

    Oh dear Jen. It is all very sad isn’t it! The receptionists at JJ’s school are the same. Schools and doctors surgeries – they seem to attract the unhelpful people!

    Are you considering home schooling? I could imagine you would be very good at it.

    Mich x

  • Becky

    How rubbish if you hahev a health and safetuy concern school should do their best to listen and to help not to tell uyou straight waway to keep your child home. From my long experience of working for councils its only when we get written complaints (or managers are iinfomed e.g leA director) that things change dramatically. You have a right to complain about a hostile receptionist. The poor kids who have to report there.
    Big cuddles

  • Kerry

    Oh Jen that is disgusting I am sorry but I do agree with Anna seems to be the same round here doesn’t matter where you go it is the receptionists that seem to be the worse. But there is nothing in being polite to people. As you said you probably weren’t the first or last to mention it, all they needed to be was nice, doesn’t cost anything does it.

    I hope it is all sorted for next year xx

  • Wendy

    just found your blog via some other blogs.

    I visit a particular school regularly and one of the ladies on reception is really scary. i said to my husband I am surprised she isn’t in a doctor’s surgery.

    We found that the parts of our street that have been scraped clear of snow are more slippy than the parts where the snow had been left because although the cleared bit melted slightly they were then freezing over.

  • jen s*

    Ridiculous. And if it’s not a matter of “school responsibility” what about decency and kindness and care for the students and other visitors to the school? The sad thing especially is that these are the adults entrusted to teach our children!

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  • marketingtomilk

    That’s bloody awful. Legal matters should never trump moral ones. Of course they have a social and moral obligation to make sure their children are safe arriving and leaving, regardless of whether, legally, it is their property or not. Bars have obligations regarding the front of their buildings and what goes on, so why shouldn’t a school? (strange comparison, but true!)


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