Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Victorian Attitude?

I've joined the PTA - not running it, mind you - and it's been going well. The old regime ran it for three years but all bowed out so a crew of newbies are at the helm trying to bushwhack our way through things without much guidance (but with a lot of comments!). It's all fine, not a problem, but it's difficult trying to do something when you have so many jaded folks watching your every move. There are a few good eggs who are helping out, thank heavens!

We're having our Christmas fair soon and we've been busily planning it - doling out booths to classes, writing up notices, sending flyers, designing the posters, trying to drum up donations for the tombola and raffle, etc. It's busy work, but I've done all this before so it's not that big a deal.

We held a meeting last night so some of the parents who work could attend a meeting. Everyone is fantastic (although two of the old regime did exchange a smirk at my expense when I volunteered to make a cake or some goodies for the fair - not sure what that means). All the ladies present (and gents) were in good humour and generally nice. It was a bit chaotic and loud as we were in a pub but we got all our business done in good time even though there was a lot of chatting - which is to be expected!

After a few glasses of wine one of the women thought it would be a good idea to have one of the celeb mums at our school open the fair, cut the ribbon, etc. and then have me invite the press. I had never heard of the woman before - I've seen her at school - she's tall, beautiful and looks like someone, she's got that X factor about her. But I didn't know she was famous. The same lady called her to see if she would do it. She agreed.

But then I came home to slap together a press release and googled her to get a bio since I have no idea who she is. She's been around for a while but all the recent stuff is nude photos from a spread in a big men's magazine with headlines declaring 'she strips off,' etc. It's not X-rated, nothing is really showing but she's in the buff in provocative poses. She does look fantastic, so good for her.

But here's my dilemma, this is a Church of England school, we'll have the pastor from our church, our head teacher is a Reverend, we have a whole bunch of clergy who will be around and this is PRIMARY school. I didn't think it was appropriate for her to open the fair. Not the right message for the school and certainly not someone I want my daughter to emulate. I felt like a prude - a grouchy suffragist from the Old West wielding my Bible at the harlots in town. While I'm not an uptight goodie-goodie, I really felt like one.

I asked Fen, who is certainly no prude (he plays rugby after all!) and he agreed with me. Still, I felt like perhaps I shouldn't say anything to upset the apple cart. But today I saw two reception mothers, one who is on the PTA committee. They were both in the same camp as me. One even said she wouldn't go if this celeb opened the fair because it wasn't right.

I called the head of the PTA and told her our thoughts. She agreed too. Our decision: leave it to the head teacher - if he says it's all right - then we'll leave it be. But if he says no - then that's it.

My worry - I'm going to be labelled like Hester Prinn - the old regime will sew a scarlet P for me to wear in shame for being such a stick-in-the-mud. But you know what? That will be fine with me. Because I'm not going anywhere, I'm a tough cookie and when it comes to my child and her education I'm going to do what I think is right, whether it's popular or not. Cate is ALL that matters to me. and I want her to have good role models. I wouldn't want her to end up a Page 3 girl because, in the end, I guess I am a prude.


  1. I'm with you on this. I think it's perfectly acceptable to be a prude when it comes to our children. (I'm dying to know who it is by the way but obviously you'd rather not say )

  2. 100% agree with you and would have done the same thing. You are not a prude it would be highly inappropriate. Stick to your guns and if that earns you a Scarlett 'P'. Wear it with pride, your daughter is lucky to have a mum that stands up for her principles.

  3. I was going to suggest that you take this to the Head to decide! I would feel the same, it's very shortsighted of this person to suggest this celeb. Let us know what happens!

    At Toby's school, they have a home-clothes day in the run up to the fair, where every child has to bring in something for the fair - tombola prize, wine etc. I think they pretty much depend on this to make the fair a success! Also, every child is given a paper plate in a sandwich bag with a note, asking for donations of homemade or bought cakes/biscuits.

  4. Ah the PTA wars, I know them well. Leave it to the Head, who will likely see it as you do and decide against. Remind me to send you a Huffpo piece that is DIRECTLY on point. Oh yeah. And the reason the old guard laughed? Because once you're in for a cake, you'll be running the damn me.

    Good luck! Can't wait to hear how it turns out.

    Delia Lloyd

  5. I love how uptight you are for an American...

  6. I'm dying to know who it is! ;-)
    I think you're probably right - not a good role model for little girls. Mind you, you'd probably get a good turnout of Dads.....


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