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Old 05-06-2019, 03:52 PM
 
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I have a student I will call Bill. Billís parents are divorced with Dad having primary physical custody during the school year and mom having it during the summer. Mom is not allowed to pick Bill up from school. We are going on a field trip tomorrow. Billís dad was supposed to chaperone but had to back out tonight because he canít get the day off of work. Billís mom found out and emailed me to ask if she could meet us there and ďtag alongĒ. I didnít know what to tell her. I emailed my principal, who seems irritated with me. I just want some direction for what Iím supposed to do if this parent shows up out of the blue to this public place. How does your school handle custody messes like this?


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Old 05-06-2019, 04:13 PM
 
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That doesn't make sense. Since kid stays with mom in the summer she obviously has rights to him. They probably have joint physical custody with primary residence being with dad. Is there paperwork in his file that says mom is not allowed?
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Old 05-06-2019, 04:17 PM
 
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Is mom allowed to visit at school (just not pick up)? Ultimately, your P needs to buck up and give you an answer. Could you contact dad and ask? I would always err on the side of caution with things like this.
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Old 05-06-2019, 04:22 PM
 
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The custody agreement is very convoluted and the principal seems annoyed. I do not want to do/say something wrong. The admin said if mom shows up tomorrow, I need to walk with her and the child and that she canít take him home from the trip. Iím hoping she will just not come. It was/is a very acrimonious divorce and custody situation, so I really donít want to contact dad with it and risk getting him all riled up about it.
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Public place
Old 05-06-2019, 04:22 PM
 
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Weíve had parents show up for field trips at public places, like the zoo. We were told we canít stop them from going but they werenít allowed to be in charge of any children. Our chaperones need to get fingerprinted ahead of time.

You were right to email your P. Iíd be nervous about doing the wrong thing!


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Old 05-06-2019, 04:33 PM
 
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I would just do what your principal said to do. I agree asking dad would probably make it a bigger issue. We are told that parents may show up in a public place but can only supervise their own child if they have not been cleared as a volunteer. I don't know that you could stop mom from meeting you there but I would make sure that I stayed with her throughout the trip. Let us know how it goes.
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Old 05-06-2019, 05:13 PM
 
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Personally, I would contact dad and ask if this was kosher. I would be honest and say you are confused and want to do the right thing.

Because your P isn’t doing their job.
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Old 05-06-2019, 06:13 PM
 
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No one can stop the mom from showing up however just be sure not to have her in charge of her child or a group of kids. It's wise to inform principals of these things so you document responses or lack of responses.
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Old 05-07-2019, 02:30 AM
 
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Bill’s mom found out and emailed me to ask if she could meet us there and “tag along”.
In our district, mom could always show up, but she cannot chaperone any children, take dismissal of her child or even be with the group at any point during the trip. I don't know how you enforce that, since you're not at school. We've never had any problems with it.
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Find out what the custody agreement says.
Old 05-07-2019, 09:00 AM
 
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This is a legal matter. If the custody agreement says she can't have access while Dad has physical custody, it could be a huge issue.
Call the dad, no matter how uncomfortable it is.


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Old 05-07-2019, 10:17 AM
 
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Has mom been fingerprinted and has a background check been done by your school district?

In my district if these two things have not happened, the parent may not attend the field trip at all even if the parent shows up for the field trip out of the blue.

I once had to tell the parent who showed up that she could not stay because she had not been fingerprinted or had a background check done. She informed me she would not pass a background check, and I responded that this was the reason she could not stay on the field trip.

If this works the same way in your district, I would contact mom and tell her not to show up.
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Custody Issue
Old 05-07-2019, 12:01 PM
 
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You need to get in touch with Bill's father before the field trip. Allowing the mother to chaperone could violate the custody agreement, and you and the school could be held legally responsible for doing so. You need to proceed very carefully in situations like this.

Email your principal, and get their response in writing just in case the mother ends up showing up. I'm amazed that your principal isn't taking this more seriously. This is a legal issue and should not be taken lightly.
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Old 05-07-2019, 03:19 PM
 
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Technically you can’t stop her from being at a public place. I would call dad and explain the situation and not let her be alone with her child. Parents meet us at the trip site all the time and just tag along. I don’t like it. I would also put him in my group to keep an eye on him. Also, let dad pick him up after school. Read the custody agreement again to make sure you do what it says.
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Old 05-07-2019, 04:51 PM
 
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Thank goodness for social workers! Apparently there is a more up to date custody agreement that the social worker knew of but I didnít. I needed my principal to say,Ē give me the parentsís number and I will handle itĒ not the wish washy unhelpful response I received.

The mom had completed her finger print and background check and passed. The social worker talked with mom and made her understand the conditions were that she could tag along with the group but would not be chaperoning her child alone. I put him in a group with three other kids and another mom. Then Billís mom, the 4 kids, another parent chaperone and I walked around. The issue was that there was a huge amount of walking and Iím 10 months out from having a total knee replacement. I did the best I could, but about 45 minutes before the trip ended, I had to sit. My knee was so painful and swollen that I could hardly move. I could see everything from where I was sitting. Everything was fine. The sad/sweet thing was how incredibly happy Bill was to see his mom. They had a great day together. I did not speak with Dad. If the P wanted me to or if he wanted to, he should have done so. I am sick of being put in the middle of this situation and not knowing what is the right thing to do- because in this situation the right thing is not the thing that makes sense. Billís dad is emotionally and mentally unstable and had a failed suicide attempt a couple of months ago. He was found by my student slumped over the steering wheel of his truck. The truck was in a close garage, running with a garden hose from the exhaust pipe going into the cab. Not much chance of that being accidental. Billís mom lives a couple of hours away and has no idea that it happened. The whole thing is a mess and I am infinitely glad that there are no more events like this the rest of the year.
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Old 05-07-2019, 05:51 PM
 
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Billís dad is emotionally and mentally unstable and had a failed suicide attempt a couple of months ago. He was found by my student slumped over the steering wheel of his truck. The truck was in a close garage, running with a garden hose from the exhaust pipe going into the cab. Not much chance of that being accidental. Billís mom lives a couple of hours away and has no idea that it happened.
CPS didn't do anything about this? My gosh. That poor kid.
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Old 05-07-2019, 06:19 PM
 
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I know- Iíve called and reported the hospital he was taken to has a social worker that is supposed to be keeping and eye on the situation. Itís very frustrating.
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