PTA Parent Cliques

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By an edhat subscriber

Have other people experienced PTA (Parent Teacher Association) cliques in their schools? Are you involved in your PTA? What has your experience been like?

I am involved in our high school PTA and the executive PTA Board is very cliquey. Parents wanted to volunteer and make a difference but this PTA board in our school only wanted me and other parents to volunteer and make a difference on their terms. It's clear we're fighting a battle, nothing we say or do makes a difference. They dictate everything from the budget and who gets the funds. They are opinionated. They make you feel that if you wanted to stay on the PTA, you have to quiet your own voice make it align with theirs.

Do edhatters have the same experience?

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Gobbledygook Aug 14, 2017 01:21 AM
PTA Parent Cliques

My daughter went to Peabody, which requires parent participation, so for 7 years I volunteered for lots of things and found it easy, though I never went to a PTA meeting. The whole school is set up to encourage parents to be there. Then I found the opposite situation at SB Jr High, where the teachers were uninterested in me volunteering directly and told me to go through the PTA, which was difficult, so I managed to volunteer just once during the two years my daughter was there. Now that she's at SBHS, I volunteer directly with the librarian and teachers rather than the PTA. I've met some PTA people and they seem nice, but it's not my thing. Anyway if you're at SBHS there are other ways to get involved besides the PTA. And there's always the hope that the cliquey people's kids will graduate and they'll go away.

Flicka Aug 12, 2017 04:58 PM
PTA Parent Cliques

So, Rex, did you help the lady? Know where she could score some pot?

REX OF SB Aug 12, 2017 10:56 PM
PTA Parent Cliques

No, actually I didn't. I couldn't. I really didn't know. In those days, pot wasn't as accessible as it is now, And since I never smoked it (god's truth), I wouldn't have known where to have gotten it anyway. For some reason, a lot of people seemed to think that I knew how to procure certain things, and I really didn't. I did bask in my reputation, though, even if it wasn't deserved.

yin yang Aug 12, 2017 11:34 AM
PTA Parent Cliques

And then there was Principal John Ehrenborg. He was ... superb, fantastic. Might've mediated and fixed this kind of BS. He started in '66, so maybe that was the year the school opened.

yin yang Aug 12, 2017 11:21 AM
PTA Parent Cliques

I agree with Flicka and even 420722 ;-) I can't add any useful detail because I don't have offspring. However, tough it out and make a difference. I'm sure it's more contentious than the non-profits I've been involved in, but everyone SHOULD be on the same page -- to support and improve the school and students. Good luck!

yin yang Aug 12, 2017 11:14 AM
PTA Parent Cliques

Rex, your tale about pot is outrageous. And very, very funny!

yin yang Aug 12, 2017 11:11 AM
PTA Parent Cliques

Amazing how hard it is to google what year Monte Vista opened. I didn't find an answer. But my hand prints were in the original, first time capsule, the cover of which was ceramic and done by Oscar Bucher, my best friend's uncle, and I guess brother to Frederick Schuler, who taught at SBCC for many years. May have been brother to Frederick's wife. Ah ha, Oscar: http://www.oscarbucherceramics.com/artist-statement-1-2/ I was in first kindergarten class; must've been about 1965. (Are kids 4 when they go to kindergarten?) I also went to Star King nursery school, and Hanne Sonquist and family, especially her youngest daughter, were close friends. My father (FATHER, Male!) was president of Monte Vista PTA in the early 60's. He's gone now, but I'm still so damn proud of him. He wouldn't have played those games, but I don't think they were so prevalent or obvious in the early 60's.

yin yang Aug 12, 2017 10:33 AM
PTA Parent Cliques

Wow. I'm not surprised, just disgusted. Simply sounds like the parents are doing what kids do in elementary, jr/middle school and high school. Sound horrific.

REX OF SB Aug 12, 2017 10:38 AM
PTA Parent Cliques

That's exactly my observation, Yin Yang.

Mesarats Aug 11, 2017 11:17 PM
PTA Parent Cliques

The other clique I keep hearing recently is about if you want to get a job at SBHS or SBJHS chances are much improved if you are a member of The Calvery Church. It's just chatter,, but the element was also starting to be be present the last years of my moms career as a 30 veteran as a teacher in that system. Bonus points or blind eyes for those who are prolific fund raisers. I am curious if others have noticed that.

420722 Aug 11, 2017 09:15 PM
PTA Parent Cliques

While I totally stand by my comment on the bottom and knownforna fact that there are cliques, I will add that the PTA parents do a LOT for the schools and they do host meetings that are open to all of the parents so it's up to you all to show up and let them know what's on your mind.

REX OF SB Aug 11, 2017 07:04 PM
PTA Parent Cliques

In the 1980s I was on the PTA board of a local elementary school in an upscale neighborhood. Even then, there was a certain cliquish element that tended to run the proceedings the way it wanted. Not all of us played that game, however. One night during a meeting, another board member (the wife of a prominent physician) asked me on the sly if I knew where she could score some pot. What made this even funnier was that the meeting topic had to do with "the drug problem." It was actually this lady's presence that made me stay on the board and not resign after I quickly discovered the cliquish element involved.

Flicka Aug 11, 2017 06:56 PM
PTA Parent Cliques

Maybe organize the other parents to group together and push back. A PTA should be concerned with assisting to make a school better, not a political bullying organization. As a group, keep showing up at meetings, asking questions, making a fuss about wanting to volunteer to help and not be assigned to something you don't want to do.

Z Aug 11, 2017 05:54 PM
PTA Parent Cliques

I'm shocked, shocked to find that cliquing is going on in there. Hang in there, wear them down, Keep showing up. Have your kids held back for a year if you need to.

a-1513178397 Aug 11, 2017 05:13 PM
PTA Parent Cliques

Patagonia puffer jackets are year-round attire, dahling.

a-1513178397 Aug 11, 2017 01:42 PM
PTA Parent Cliques

My kids elementary school is like that, one group of parents seems to run everything and if you're not involved in their little circle they don't even acknowledge you. If you want to infiltrate, you need to drive a Honda Odyssey and wear yoga pants all the time. Patagonia or North Face puffer vests are optional depending on the weather.

a-1513178397 Aug 11, 2017 12:48 PM
PTA Parent Cliques

Just like my condo association board.

laughing Aug 11, 2017 12:12 PM
PTA Parent Cliques

Just like being back in highschool.

420722 Aug 11, 2017 10:22 AM
PTA Parent Cliques

HA! Yep, and if your not part of it then good luck getting in. You basically have to be white and/or wealthy.

a-1513178397 Aug 11, 2017 09:59 AM
PTA Parent Cliques

I believe that's called "politics". Get someone else to do the hard work you can then take credit for and use the backing of a force of numbers, or outrageous opinions, as the leverage to force your compliance. The power no longer rests with those doing the "right" thing but by those who can bully their way to intimidate all opposition. It's the business model of the guy elected to our highest office, coincidentally.

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