Stamps of approval

| October 18, 2013

I have determined that once you enroll a child in school, the school owns your child during school hours. The evidence for this began to pour in when Sequoia was in Kindergarten, but this week sealed the deal.

I would be walking Sequoia home and she would mention the trip to the library that day. I was surprised to be finding out about my child walking into town from my child, afterward. The only time the school required a full-blown permission slip was for the field trip into the city via bus, and for the school sleepover. (Yes, the kindergarteners had a sleepover.).

The phenomenon has continued in first grade. I would have been quite surprised, had I been home the day the first graders showed up on the doorstep ringing the bell as they walked around town visiting everyone’s house, the kids then taking them on a tour of the garden if their parents were home. (I have no idea why; all I know is, the kids piled up at our door to watch Flash bark.)

But last week I learned of the reverse manner in which the school owns my child. I must formally request permission from the Direktor, in writing, for my child to miss only two days of school–even one, it turns out–for a purpose other than illness. And so when I wanted to take Sequoia out two days early in order to leave early for Spain for fall break, I had to submit a written request.

The Direktor approved the request: She wrote a statement, she signed the statement, she dated the statement.
She then stamped the statement.
And then there was a Second stamp; that stamp was dated by hand.

But there was no notary seal, so I’m not sure if it was official.

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Category: Ex-pat Parenting, FAMILY, In Germany A Broad blog, Shits & Giggles

About the Author ()

Kari Martindale is a writer and ESL instructor. She’s visited all 50 states and 37 countries, including many of the big cities of Europe and a ton of Christmas Markets. She spends her days straddling the fence between a sense of adventure and a sense of dread. She is married to what is clearly a patient man and has a daughter who, frustratingly, is just like her. Her academic and professional backgrounds are in linguistics and foreign languages. When she's not teaching ESL, she's writing. When she's not writing, she's thinking about her next trip.

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