Another PTA, another ousting

When my children were in elementary school, I ran an after-school journalism program there, and taught kids how to make their own newspaper.

Based on this, the PTA made me the publicity chair. This would prove to be a mistake.

One of the first events of the year was a fund-raising effort wherein every child was told to sell lots of wrapping paper. I’m against this. It happened every year.

Children who got at least 10 orders were treated to a pizza party with a magician.

At the PTA meeting the year before, the principal — about whom I have nothing nice to say — mentioned that the party was going on in the cafeteria when she took the regular lunch kids through, and she pointed out to them that if they had sold their share, they would have been enjoying pizza and disappearing quarters.

I found her strutting distasteful. I hadn’t let my kids sell anything that year, because it embarrasses me to put friends and neighbors on the spot. That stuff is expensive. I went home from the meeting and asked my son if the principal had done and said that.

“Yeah.” He didn’t care. I make good lunches. I always put a comic strip in there.

Back to the following year, when I had a position on the board. I let my kids participate in the thing because they wanted to earn the little portable TV they could get if they got 100 orders. They were going to pool their sheets and split the prize.

My friend from work ordered some peanut brittle, and I said jokingly that his order would save them from being paraded through the party, being the 10th.

I forget my collegues have the power of the press. This particular friend was no longer at my paper. He was now a section editor at the rival one.

He wrote a section-front editorial on the shameful goings on at my children’s school.

Well, I was in charge of getting the place publicity….


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