A recent letter from Ray Elyas uses the common fear-mongering tactic of union bosses opposed to privatization - stranger danger. According to their scary scenarios, parents should worry about strangers infiltrating our schools if the board contracts with businesses to provide support services.
As a parent, perhaps I should start worrying about these strangers. Not only those who might be in the schools, but everywhere. The cashier at the grocery store? I don’t know her. What might she have done to the food I plan to feed my children? Or the stock clerk? Never seen him before. Who knows what dastardly deeds he may have done.
I stopped at a fast food restaurant the other day and knew nobody. I shudder to think of the danger my kids were exposed to because I dared to go to a profit-seeking restaurant run by strangers.
Nearly everyday I visit private businesses employing people I don’t know, yet I’ve survived. Have I just been lucky or maybe, just maybe, this claim of “stranger danger” is overblown.
Does this mean the school administration should ignore potential threats? Absolutely not. I think everyone can agree there are some people who should not be around our students. For example a week after Elyas’ letter was published, a teacher in the Plymouth-Canton school district made a threat forcing the closure of 3 high schools. Over the past few years, several school teachers have been charged and convicted of sex crimes involving students. Obviously, administrators should be wary but it’s not only the “strangers” they need to keep an eye on.
[Letter to the Editor - Farmington Observer. Submitted 04/14/2011.]