A large crowd of people gathered in front of one of the primary schools in Lublin, whom the city guard did not want to let into the facility. All because of the management’s decision that only one of the guardians can enter the assembly with first-grade students. Parents of second and third grade students were not allowed in at all. The director explains the decision for security reasons.
– Last year everything was fine. My son was going to first grade. I went to assembly with him, and then we went to the classroom to meet the teacher. Now there was real comedy. We were standing in front of the building and the city guard who works at the school told us that he would not let us in because it was the management’s decision – says the father of one of the second-grade students of Primary School No. 30 in Lublin.
Please remain anonymous. Just like our other interlocutors who, on Monday, September 2, came with their second- and third-grade children to the beginning of the school year.
Mother: We were embarrassed
– Since we were not allowed in, teachers of individual classes went outside the building with pieces of paper with “2c” or “3a” written on them and took our children to individual classes. We were embarrassed by the whole situation. Meetings of parents and educators are planned for the next week, and on the first day of the new school year there are many issues to discuss – says one of the mothers.
He adds that parents of first-grade students also stood in the crowd.
– The school management has decided that only one parent can enter the assembly for first grade students. After all, it was the first day of school for these children, which was a great experience. It is unimaginable that a child comes to roll call with his or her parents and can only enter with his or her mother or father, our interlocutor points out.
Another mother is also surprised by these rules. – The school management cites safety reasons, but what would be dangerous if both parents of first-graders accompanied their children to the assembly, and parents of second- and third-grade students entered the classrooms with them and met with their teachers? – wonders.
Headmistress: In the event of a large squeeze, fainting could occur
School principal Małgorzata Wiślicka (in this position since September 2020) admits that she could have approached the matter “a little less restrictively”.
“But I didn’t expect this to happen.” I only cared about the students’ comfort and safety. In the case of an assembly of first-graders – if there is a lot of pressure, for example, fainting could occur. We are talking about six classes with a total of 127 students. If we add both parents to each student, we have over 250 people (if each student came with two guardians – editor’s note) – he says.
Parent-teacher meetings will be held soon
She adds that it was not the parents of first-graders that she received signals of indignation, but rather the parents of second- and third-grade students, whose children met with their teachers in classes, not at assembly.
– I decided that since parents and educators will be meeting soon, there is no need for parents to be present on the first day of the school year – explains Wiślicka.
The director admits that she does not remember exactly how it was organized in September 2022. – Anyway, I was at another institution at the city’s inauguration of the school year. However, even if parents were actually allowed to enter the building a year ago, several incidents have occurred since then, he argues.
– I filed a police report because there was once a man hanging around the school who had been released from prison where he was serving a sentence for pedophilia. There was also someone who wanted to enter the school with a knife, says the principal.
There was a message on the school’s website
When we asked why she didn’t go to her parents and explain the reasons for her decision, she said that she was attending an assembly of fourth-graders in another building.
– Information that only one of the parents of a given student can enter the first-graders’ roll call, and parents of second- and third-grade students will not enter the building, appeared on school website on Wednesday, August 30. On Friday, September 1, we added colorful graphics. Each parent knew what the rules were, because they had to go to the school’s website to see what time the meetings started, explains Wiślicka.
One of the mothers we talked to comments that not everyone went to the school’s website because the information about the start time of the year was already known.
To pick up a child, parents use the intercom
He adds that the management also applies restrictive rules on a daily basis.
– We can’t go into the hallway when we’re picking up the kids from school. We squeeze ourselves into a small vestibule, which can fit literally a few people. The rest must stand outside. Whether it’s rain or snow. If you fail to pick up your child when he/she leaves class with the teacher, you have to ring the intercom to the common room. And sometimes we have to wait a long time for someone to answer on the other side. It also happened that the lady from the common room didn’t hear the child’s name – which is not unusual, because the intercom is often very noisy – and let the wrong student out – she says.
The school principal argues that if parents were allowed into the corridor, it would be filled quickly because it is not very large. He adds that the behavior of some – “adults after all” – people also argues for not letting parents into the corridor.
– There was a gentleman who constantly smoked cigarettes in the vestibule, saying that he could do it, which provoked an argument – recalls the director.
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The principal is sorry that the events overshadowed such an important day as the beginning of the school year. He announces that controversial issues will be discussed during a meeting with the parents’ council.
Spokeswoman of the school board: it certainly happened badly
The parents sent a complaint to the school board.
– The regulations do not regulate the rules for parents entering schools. Each of the institutions sets its own rules, because each of them has a different character. It was definitely a bad thing that the parents were standing in front of the building and were not allowed in, says Jolanta Misiak, spokeswoman for the Education Board in Lublin.
She adds that the director made an explanation, explaining that she meant security reasons.
– Let’s hope that such situations will no longer occur and the management will reach an agreement with the parents’ council in this matter, so that the children can be accompanied by their guardians during the inauguration of the year. This is already part of the school tradition. The board of trustees will not interfere in this matter, emphasizes the spokeswoman.
Magistrate: the headmaster is responsible for the organization of the school’s work
The city authorities do not intend to interfere.
“Primary School No. 30 is one of the largest schools in Lublin (nearly 1.2 thousand students attend it – editor’s note). The rules of operation of a given school, including issues related to parents entering the building, are established in the statute of the facility,” writes Justyna Góźdź from the press office of the Mayor of Lublin in an e-mail.
He adds that, as a rule, it is primarily about ensuring the safety of students and protecting unauthorized persons from entering the school.
“The principal is responsible for organizing the school’s work, and the statute is adopted by the Pedagogical Council of a given school. The city does not interfere in these activities,” he notes.
Main photo source: Parents