Teacher Reminds Parents To Stop Bringing Extended Family On Kid's Field Trips

Chaperoning a kid’s field trip is a right of passage for parents. You pack snacks, bandaids, and sunscreen and do your best to be the “cool parent” for your kid amongst the teachers and other admins who are on the trip. I remember always wanting to be with the “cool mom” chaperone on field trips because she would buy her group ice cream and was pretty lax on rules yet did an amazing job of keeping everyone in line. I want to be that mom!

And while that’s all well and good, one teacher has a gripe to pick with parents who are willing to help out with a class field trip — stop bringing your extended family!

“I have a little friendly PSA for all the parents out there who have elementary-age students from a teacher. Parents, when you sign up to chaperone for a field trip, please understand that it is a field trip and it is not a family reunion,” TikTok teacher @mrs.sum said.

“Please stop showing up to field trips with your extended family. We do not need you to bring grandma and your aunts and cousins along with you. We need you, who signed up, to chaperone.”

She goes on to explain that the single person who signed up was the only adult who was processed and put through a background check.

“When you are bringing other people who are not in our background check, it gets a little dicey for us. Our number one job is to protect students and that job becomes tricky when there are people that we do not know and we did not expect on the field trip,” she explained.

“Especially because all of those people are now around other students who are not your own child. We have other students in this class that we also have to protect. Also, some field trips are limited by the number of people attending, and if you are bringing extra people, it throws off the count. Field trips are not family reunions.”

For those who may say that this kind of thing doesn’t actually happen, there were hundreds of teachers in the OP’s comment section commiserating with her sentiment, sharing their own chaperone horror stories.

“What bugs me is when they pull their other kids out of different grades and bring them with us. Like no,” one noted.

Another said, “Once a mom who was NO CONTACT and the child was in Fostercare showed up!! The most stressed ive been!!!”

The OP replied, “Yes! Great point! This is also something that teachers have to deal with. Definitely a safety concern!”

“We stated adults only no siblings and people still bring the 3 younger kids. Then don’t come or find someone to watch the kids,” another said.

In a follow-up video, she proposes a question to parents: What would you do with your kid if you found out adults who had not received background checks were attending the same field trip as your kid and could be in charge of them?

Again, it might be hard to believe, but this does happen! The OP explained that, with her district, chaperones do not ride the bus with the kids. Instead, they drive themselves and meet the school group at the field trip destination. This is how a field trip “family reunion” ends up happening.

“I’m a teacher and took the day off to chaperone my daughter’s trip to the zoo. I was in the group with my daughter and another parent but she didn’t have her fingerprint card so she had to be with me,” one user noted.

“Later, I realized her husband and other kids all came too. I was responsible for all these people at that point.”

Another suggested, “Teacher perspective: just like there will likely be strangers at your field trip destination, they can meet you there and hang with the group but never be alone with any of the children.”

This does sound like a school issue, doesn’t it? If the school is going to be the ones putting on the field trip, organizing the chaperones, kid groups, and destination, they should also be aware of what adults are interacting with the kids. Any field trip that occurs in a public space is going to have other adults there, of course, but that doesn’t mean those kids should be mingling with students.

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