Parent angry at Colt Andrews School lunchtime shun

Posted

According to the Colt Andrews Elementary School handbook for 2012-2013, “visitors, particularly parents, are welcome at the school … each visitor must report to the office upon entering the school to obtain a pass.”

But, as one mother found out, just don’t stay for lunch.

On Monday, Jan. 28, Katie Sousa was surprised to find that she would not be allowed in the Colt Andrews cafeteria to have lunch with her son to celebrate the boy's ninth birthday. When Ms. Sousa arrived at the school, she said the principal, Patrick Latucca, would not let her inside, telling her a new policy had been implemented and that parents are not allowed in the cafeteria to have lunch with the children. Instead, Mr. Latucca offered up his office where the two could eat their lunch.

Superintendent of Schools Melinda Thies said across the district, parents seldom request to have lunch with their children. However, after school officials at Warren’s Hugh Cole School experienced a significant number of lunchtime parents — more than the cafeteria could accommodate safely — changes had to be made.

“The issue did arise in the fall with the number of visitors coming in on any given day,” Ms. Thies said of the “open door” policy.

To address the issue, the superintendent’s office surveyed all the school administrators to find out if they, too, were dealing with space issues during lunches.

“Each principal said the cafeteria was at capacity,” Ms. Thies said.

Increasing occupancy by allowing parents “became an issue of safety, security and being able to monitor” inside an overcrowded cafeteria.

At Hugh Cole school, a Cozy Café was created where parents and their children can eat, separate from the cafeteria. Similar areas have not been offered at other schools in the district, Ms. Thies said, simply because “we didn’t have an issue with parents.”

“The parent (at Colt Andrews school) did have lunch with her son on his birthday. The principal made an appropriate accommodation by freeing up his office.”

But that didn’t satisfy Ms. Sousa.

“Who wants to eat in the principal’s office,” she said. “That’s a punishment.”

The Bristol Warren school district’s visitor policy is one of the changes that Ms. Thies anticipates parents may find inconvenient, but, she said, is necessary to ensure a safe, secure learning environment for students.

Comments

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leslie.letourneau

Why on earth would a child want to have lunch with their parents at school???? Someone cut the cord!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 | Report this
fishwife

As I stated on your FB page ...Sadly, most schools "open door policies" will come to end because of the world we now live in. Why this women was shocked she was turned away from the cafeteria is beyond me. I too am a parent at Colt Andrews and have received NUMEROUS notices and emails that clearly state the new visitor policy...which has been established SINCE Newtown CT. Hilarious, she had to "alert the media" after the principal was polite enough to lend his office.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 | Report this
Coralee Lazebnikova

Seriously, the principal bent over backwards to accommodate your request and you still complain. What kid wants to be seen with their parent in school anyway? Who are these parents that this has become a problem for the schools? Next time lady, take your kid out of school for the day and bring him to Chuckie Cheese. He'll thank you for it.

Thursday, January 31, 2013 | Report this
Joybv65

If you want to celebrate your child's birthday, I bet he or she would be thrilled to be taken to Friendly's or some other family restaurant and celebrate there. What kid wants to celebrate his birthday in school? Use a little discretion, Mom. Let the kid have a life.

Thursday, January 31, 2013 | Report this
Tuscanwine

You're comment says a lot about you.

Thursday, January 31, 2013 | Report this
Tuscanwine

Sadly, since the aftermath of the Newtown tragedy schools are taking precautions. I think you weren't aware that the school committee meeting regarding the new policy hadn't taken place until that evening. Research helps you gain knowledge. Knowledge of the facts may help before people before they post replies such as this.

Thursday, January 31, 2013 | Report this
Tuscanwine

You're reply is immature.

Thursday, January 31, 2013 | Report this
Tuscanwine

There a quite a few children who would love having their parent/parents visit them at lunch time. My daughter visits her children's schools. Evidently there is something you may have missed. The child may have wanted his mom to come to school to have lunch on his birthday. Not every parent takes a child out of school when their birthday falls on a school day. My opinion.

Thursday, January 31, 2013 | Report this
Tuscanwine

Your reply is hidden behind your username.

Thursday, January 31, 2013 | Report this
Tuscanwine

To say the least.

Thursday, January 31, 2013 | Report this
Tuscanwine

Since you know her personally why hide behind your username?

Thursday, January 31, 2013 | Report this
Tuscanwine

Discretion? This is what the child wanted his mom to do. Not your business. I think since you obviously do not know the parent or the child why do you judge them?

Thursday, January 31, 2013 | Report this
isabella.arrudda

mek45 for some one like you to be calling another person psyco and white trash you obviously have bigger issues because you have to come on here and hide who really are with your fake name i think you need to grow up and what if it was your child whould you have enough guts to stand up for your child ??? At least this mother did ! Step being a coward tell everyone on her who you really are !

Thursday, January 31, 2013 | Report this
Tuscanwine

Pardon me for my misuse of grammar. I am not the post police. I have been nice with my replies. Chastise people? You're the one who is taking this a little bit to far. I have not attacked anyone on here. The person in the story is the one being attacked. I don't hide behind my username, I use it for privacy. Thank goodness I did. Peace.

Thursday, January 31, 2013 | Report this
fishwife

On the contrary ...I am an incredibly informed, educated and involved parent. On January 8, 2013, Melinda Thies, superintendent of Bristol/Warren Schools attended the PTO meeting. Most of the evenings discussion pertained to school safety and the new policies to be implemented. A conntect-ed call was sent to all parents from Ms Thies, an email from Dr Lattuca, principal of Colt Andrews and a notice was sent home with each child. All three of these events happened well before 1/28. These outreaches clearly stated all visitors/volunteers must be on an approved list from the teacher prior to visit. What I didn't know was parents feel its their right to just "stop by" for lunch. Yes, Birthdays are a special event for a child.Celebrate over breakfast or dinner ! What I think has outrage most of the public is the fact this mother felt it necessary to alert the media of some serious wrong doing... trying to make the school look bad ! The principal DID NOT turn her away. The gentleman gives up his valuable work space so she can lunch with her kid !!!!! and yet she runs to the newspaper and has a photo opt.

Thursday, January 31, 2013 | Report this
Nard Glimrod

Oh, and "TuscanWine" can be looked up the white pages?

Friday, February 1, 2013 | Report this
Nard Glimrod

And "you'res" says a lot about you.

Friday, February 1, 2013 | Report this
Tuscanwine

ISABELLA ARRUDDA

After reading all the posts and replies I believe that the people don't understand what the purpose was for you wanting to have lunch with your child. To not take your child out of school I commend you as education is very important. For the comments about what you do, if you work isn't relevant here. I think you are a good mom and it's not their business why you went to talk to the principal to get permission to have lunch with your child. Have a good day. Peace.

Friday, February 1, 2013 | Report this
focus

It takes one to know one.

Saturday, February 2, 2013 | Report this
Tuscanwine

ISABELLA ARRUDDA

I do not no the person above. Let me make a few corrections here.

After reading all the posts and replies I believe that the people don’t understand what the purpose was for you wanting to have lunch with your child. To not take your child out of school I commend you as education is very important. For the comments about what you do, if you work isn’t relevant here. I think you are a good mom and it’s not their business why you went to talk to the principal to get permission to have lunch with your child. Have a good day. Peace.

Saturday, February 2, 2013 | Report this
Tuscanwine

Plus I think Tuscanwine may be her mother from the sounds of it. She stated in one reply “My daughter visits her children’s schools”. Could explain all the replies.

DAD_OF_THREE

I was referring to my daughter. Not Ms. Sousa.

Saturday, February 2, 2013 | Report this
Tuscanwine

ISABELLA ARRUDDA

Wrote: mek45 for some one like you to be calling another person psyco and white trash you obviously have bigger issues because you have to come on here and hide who really are with your fake name i think you need to grow up and what if it was your child whould you have enough guts to stand up for your child ??? At least this mother did ! Step being a coward tell everyone on her who you really are !

I was responding to what ISABELLA ARRUDDA's reply. The response was pertaining to how she if it was your child. Evidently she is a mom as well. I believe it's important to stand up for your child/children when it's the truth. A parent doesn't defend a child without good cause. Peace.

Saturday, February 2, 2013 | Report this
Tuscanwine

Everyone makes mistakes in life. I don't know anyone who hasn't. The purpose of posting and replying are not a basis on which to attack a persons character. This is what has happened here. I see the disrespect. Where is one post or reply here that says anything nice about a mom who loves her child and wanted to have lunch? As for my username I like it. Peace

Saturday, February 2, 2013 | Report this
Tuscanwine

Correction

To LESLIE LETOURNEAU says:

JANUARY 30, 2013 AT 9:00 PM

Why on earth would a child want to have lunch with their parents at school???? Someone cut the cord!

Your comment says a lot about you. Cut the cord. I am a mom to three children, now adults. I was very involved when they attended K-12. My opinion, not every parent is alike.

Saturday, February 2, 2013 | Report this
Tuscanwine

NARD GLIMROD

Excuse me. A parent has the right to pick their child up at their bus stop. Who are you to tell this mother to stay away from the school?

DAD_OF_THREE

I am not Ms. Sousas' spokesperson. You stated :

By the way, how is that petition going for the patrols at the schools? Maybe then I can give you my real name. What is that supposed to mean to this mother?

You take my opinion and my replies to others posts to an extreme. I'm an advocate against bullying and DAD_OF_THREE in my opinion I feel you're an adult bully. I rest my case. Peace.

Saturday, February 2, 2013 | Report this
focus

Care to comment ? Wood eye !!!

Sunday, February 3, 2013 | Report this
jaqdadi

Katie, if you weren't aware of the school policy change then that is on you. When my children were young enough to go to the Colt-Andrews school I was fully aware of their policies and any changes. Now they are at Mt Hope, I get the letters and emails notifying me of any policies and\or changes regularly.

I don't believe you weren't aware of the change in policy. Especially, so soon after Sandy Hook. Parents should have or did expect some changes. A simple phone call would have cleared it up for you, instead of interrupting the busy schedule of the principal and making a spectacle of yourself and your son. I believe you didn't care about the changes and were determined to do what you wanted to do no matter what. "“Who wants to eat in the principal’s office,” she said. “That’s a punishment.”". So why didn't you simply leave and file a complaint? That pic of you at the top of this story says it all.

Childrens b'days are very important to them. I am sure your son loves you, but was probably embarrassed to have lunch with you in the Principal's office. Of course he isn't going to say anything. In my experience children are mostly embarrassed to have their parents around at school, especially lunch when they are interacting with the other kids. School time is their time to be themselves and experience life without the eyes of their parents on them.

I'm sure the Principal and anyone else involved did their best to make it as pleasant as possible. You were still wrong. If you felt so offended then why drag your kid into this situation? Why not simply file a complaint and take the issue up with the school in a more reasonable fashion. Now, other parents are talking about it, how ridiculous and selfish you were, and any kid that knows your son, is listening to them. It will only have a negative effect on your son that his mother was so selfish she forced the Principal to do something that no one else gets.

What happens now that you got your way? Is some other, inconsiderate, selfish parent going to demand the same treatment that Katie Sousa got? Haven't these schools got their hands full with the very serious issues of today, at the same time trying to educate these kids?

This was simply a selfish, ridiculous act on your part. Grow up, let your son grow up.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013 | Report this
focus

Please tell us, what is YOUR goal? I propose everyone knows and that you can claim success.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013 | Report this
Tuscanwine

The story has taken a wrong turn. Ms. Sousa went into the office to ask permission to have lunch with her son. The policy hadn't gone into effect as stated previously until the school committee meeting that evening. Ms. Sousa followed protocol and asked permission to have lunch with her son. What I see here is what lengths people will go to in order to embarrass a person and her family. To bring up someones past and make it public as was done here I am appalled by this. Parents who feel it is necessary to write negative things about a child's mother are the ones who have caused embarrassment to the child. When reading the Bristol Phoenix this week there will be a Letter to the Editor that is worth reading. Peace.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013 | Report this
focus

Change your handle. Then practice posting constructively.

Thursday, February 7, 2013 | Report this

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