Warning, this is a rant. I am going to try to write this in a manner not to break confidentiality because of my work, but I gotta get this out.
I am the director of a neighborhood community center and after school program that primarily serves low income families, its a good place with a solid reputation. Our primary program provides FREE after-school care, complete with snacks, access to clothes for kids and families that need them and other services. We do this on a serious shoe string budget, oh did I mention the services are free. Now anyone who reads this who is a parent knows that child care costs are no joke.
Now due to some issues we are having, I had to institute my first policy change as director that the kids and parents are aware of, wanna guess what it is? Well several years ago, a staffer realized the kids were walking home in the dark and this center is not in the best part of town and some of these kids are like 5-6 years old, so the staffer decided to walk the kids home. Its been nice but we have reached the point that we really never should have been doing it and right now we simply don’t have the manpower to do it.
Its been a rough call because I am a mother and the idea of little kids walking alone after dark scares the shit out of me but at the time we close, I gotta pick my own kid up and switch into Mama mode and honestly I don’t want or need the responsibility of walking other folks kids home.
So I asked the parents if they could pick their kids up, mind you the kids get dropped off by the school bus at the center and in my mind asking folks to pick up their kids from a free after-school program doesn’t seem unreasonable. Guess what? Folks is pissed and bitching, some of the kids may not be able to come and honestly I don’t get it.
Truthfully I am having a real hard time digesting how folks cannot do one simple thing to ensure their kids have access to a fun, safe place to go after-school. This incident has reminded me of how as a society we are abdicating our own responsibilities and we can all see where that has gotten us. It seems that personal responsibility has gone out the window and it reaches across all sectors of society. Now for the most part I consider myself a Black blogger and in the Black blogosphere there are many who talk about the lack of personal responsibility among us as Black folks but remember I live in Maine. These are white folks I am talking about, all the kids in my program who are regulars are White, their parents are White and the town they live in is pretty damn White. Lack of folks taking responsibility for themselves knows no color.
Ok, rant over….hopefully we won’t lose any kids but I am only one person.