When it comes to parenting, I’m far from paranoid. I like to believe that people are mostly good and that kids are mostly capable and while I teach a healthy amount of caution I mostly believe that life is for living; I try not to spend too much time obsessing about every little thing that could go wrong.
But even I am totally weirded out by this story coming out of Connecticut about a woman who found a strange “mystery guy” in her kid’s daycare classroom on multiple occasions and the director’s cavalier approach to her complaint.
According to WTNH, a Hamden, Connecticut mom was concerned when she noticed a man who was not employed by her daughter’s daycare-Sleeping Giant Day Care-interacting with kids in the classroom on more than one occasion. She even recorded it happening on her cell phone on at least once, and when she asked the director what was up with that noise, the director apparently told her:
“He’s allowed to sit here. I’ve known him for over 20 years. He comes to my house to eat.”
Oh wow. I can not begin to tell you how many fucks I would not give about your dinner parties with some rando in my kid’s classroom. Leaving your kid somewhere all day requires a little bit of blind faith–and a couple of certified background checks, in my opinion.
Not so, according to the City of Hartford, where a person apparently only needs a background check after 12 visits in one year to an institution like day care.
The Office of Early Education in Hartford is apparently investigating the incident, but there’s no evidence at this point that the “mystery man”, who has been identified as Tony, a former Sleeping Giant custodian, has ever been alone with the kids.
Am I totally paranoid for feeling weird about this whole situation? While it may not be illegal for Tony to be there, it certainly seems unorthodox, right? I would be totally skeeved out if my former director had invited her friends-their sex inconsequential, by the way-to come chill with my child or the children I had been tasked with caring for.
As for the mother that recorded the incident, she’s still dropping her daughter off there, despite her concerns, because she doesn’t have another alternative. The center is part of a state-subsidized affordable early education program, so even though her gut tells her to yank her kid, she simply can’t afford to take her somewhere else.
I’m not a proponent of instilling a deep fear of strangers into kids, but this is one situation I know I just wouldn’t be comfortable with.