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Elementary School Wants to Limit Parent Involvement After Sandy Hook

The massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School frightened parents across the nation, prompting them take extra precautions to keep their children safe. 

Parents at one school have even started visiting their children during lunch time. They say it helps bring them peace of mind and brings them closer to their kids. But now, they might not be able to do it anymore, as one school is planning to ban parents from visiting during lunchtime. 

Clovercroft Elementary School in Franklin, Tennessee, is attempting to ban parents from visiting unless they have a voucher. The voucher would allow them to visit their kids only two times in a nine week period. 

"Everyone is very frustrated, very angry," parent Becky Rutland said. "I feel like it's a violation of my rights as a parent."

"They're gone from me every day for seven or eight hours," she explained, saying that the lunches help her "touch base with them and to know who their friends are."

A spokeswoman for Williamson County Schools said it was the principal's idea to implement the ban after the Newtown, Connecticut massacre. 

"Based on that, she thought it might be good to implement a voucher-type system," Carol Birdsong said.

Principal Laura LaChance wrote an email explaining the proposed ban to parents.

"Please remember the primary purpose for this process is to ensure that we are able to account for all the adults in the cafeteria enjoying lunch with their children," LaChance wrote.

But many parents are still angered, even though the ban is supposed to keep their children safe. 

Rutland believes that targeting the parents won't keep the school safe. If anything, she said, the parents' presence at school makes it more safe.

"I firmly don't believe that parents are the problem here," she said. "And if anything, taking parents out of the school is more dangerous than having a parental presence in the school."

Birdsong said armed deputies are already protecting their middle and high schools, and they're attempting to get funds to put armed officers in elementary schools. 

"We have extraordinary parental involvement and we are very proud of that involvement," she said. "We always encourage parents in our schools. It's one of the reasons we are so successful."

Rutland thinks the principal doesn't have the right to tell her when she can visit her children.

"I don't feel like a school administration knows what's best for my children," she said.



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