Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Liability at school, once again

It seems that I have been breaking the rules while volunteering at Elli's school.  I have been doing my Milk Monitor and Board Games Club duties without having filled out the mandatory Police Record Check Form which requires me to pay $17 so that the police can tell the school that I am not a convicted criminal with a history of underage victims.  Just to be clear, I can walk around the school without a Record Check, I can volunteer at various school events, raise a child, babysit, run other children's events, and any manner of other child centric things without a Record Check but I cannot stand in the lunchroom near several other staff members and sell milk.  This is of course because this Record Check nonsense has nothing to do with protecting the kids and everything to do with the dread spectre of liability.

Not only do I have to cough up the cash for it but I also have to wait 6 to 8 weeks for the Record Check to be completed.  Of course this means that all the new volunteers at the school can't legally volunteer for a couple months after they find out about this which means cancelling a bunch of school programs until 2012.  As usual the people involved find themselves desperately trying to balance the liability requirements with the reality that none of the volunteers is going to do anything wrong and that the regulations designed to 'protect' the children are just making their lives worse.  I can almost see the desperate wish of the administration:  "Just volunteer, do your job and don't under any circumstances let me know that you haven't completed your Record Check!"

All I ask is that I be told what work needs to be done and allowed to do the work and the regulations deny even that at every turn.

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