Thanks for the support and comments today. One question has been thoughtfully raised and I thought I’d offer some some additional clarity.
You know you have a child with a Albinism, yet you didn’t do everything you could to protect her from sun exposure. Why?
Quite simply, I relied on previous experience to make a decision. Knowing what I know now, I sure as heck wish I would have been more proactive in my approach to understanding the field day program. The truth is that the girls are taken care of SO WELL in our day-to-day interaction with the school (again, my concern has never been about vilifying the school or staff), it was not on my radar. I’m human and I made the best choice I could based on my experience with the staff and school.
Was I short-sided? Was I lazy? Was I asleep? Was I negligent? I guess that’s arguable. I know I hold some responsibility for not ultimately jumping through hoops to obtain a prescription for sunscreen but I stand firm that in my honest estimation based on my experience with our Pacific Northwest weather and our experience in this school system, I made the best decision I could. I want to be very clear: my children have never been burned at school and have rarely been burned under our supervision. We’re all doing a lot of stuff right.
I will say that if the tables were turned and if I had been the one solely responsible for their burns while they were in my care, I can’t help but think I would be reported for child endangerment to CPS. For the first 24 hours, the girls’ burns elicited gasps when in public, and with good reason.
At the end of the day, the issue is two-fold:
1. They were not removed from harm.
2. The sunscreen policy, as currently written, is not reasonable, intuitive or accessible.
Fighting for a revision to #2 is, and always has been, my focus. Fear of litigation is what gives birth to these kinds of policies. It’s also the ONLY way they seem to be changed. We haven’t made any decisions about whether or not we want to move forward in a response to issue #1. One thing is clear: they are distinct elements to this story and shouldn’t be considered as one in the same.