originally posted 12/4/2011
On December 12th, a motion to ban parents who are registered sex offenders from stepping on school grounds will go before the Carmel Clay school board in Carmel, Indiana.
I plan to be there, and this is what I plan to say:
I am the mother of two children. My five year old daughter is in kindergarten at West Clay Elementary, and my three year old son receives speech therapy at Orchard Park Elementary.
We mean the world to each other. My daughter will readily tell you that I am the most important thing in her life, and my son runs to me in excitement after we have been apart. I am a wonderful and caring mother, a label I hold more true and more valuable than the new label that has been given to me. I am a registered sex offender.
I am not proud of this status, but I am not going to hide from it either. I broke the rules and I accept the consequences. I will not, however, idly accept the punishments bestowed upon my children as a result of any poor choice I have made.
It is no secret that the more involved a parent is in her child’s life, the more well-behaved, secure, and intelligent the child will be.
Should this motion pass, I will not be able to take my son to speech therapy. I will lose the opportunity to have weekly face to face interactions with his therapist and time appropriate conversations with him on the ride home so that he can practice what he just learned. I have been an active participant in his therapy since he started at 14 months old. I have been told by all of his therapists that he has done exceptionally well in part because I follow up with his therapy.
Now I am being told that my three year old son will sit alone on a bus, paid for by the corporation, to be transported to and from therapy without me.
When my children ask me to come have lunch with them on their birthdays, or bring home the flyer inviting moms to come to school for muffins, when they ask if I’ll go to the school book fair, the school play, a sporting event, back to school night, or even parent teacher conferences, I’d have to tell them, No, I can’t. I’m sorry.
When they miss the school bus, have an appointment, or need to be picked up from school sick, who will transport them? What kind of message will this send to them?
My son and daughter will face enough adversity in their lives. I do not want them ever to feel that their needs or well being were overlooked by me or their school. Together, we will be the rocks that stabilize their lives during their school years.
I read a quote recently that said, “It is important to be the best person you can be. People will change their minds about the label when they understand that the label isn’t the person.”
I stand before you today and ask that you do not let this motion pass. The damage you will cause my children and the handful of other children in your school community who will also be affected is far too great to overlook.
The motto at my daughter’s school is “We’re all in the pack, we watch each other’s backs.” I hope that’s true.
Thank you for your time.