truth, liberty, toleration
Originally uploaded by Liz Henry.
While I was at recess today, I saw the mean lunch lady in action; I think the same one that the Latina moms were complaining about at the meeting Monday night.
I was sitting with a lot of children playing games, at a picnic table, the one nearest the stage. On a bench right next to us, two children were eating their lunch, and a mom with a toddler. All sitting together quietly with sandwiches spread out on napkins, the kids swinging their legs casually from the bench. This white woman came up and started yelling harshly at the two little girls. “You’re not allowed to sit here! You’re going to trash the place up! You better pick up that garbage! You better not leave any of that trash here! You’re supposed to sit at the picnic tables! Do you have a parent here?” The kids looked at her in shrinking non-comprehension. Keep in mind this is right in front of, 3 feet away from, the Latina mom who was looking right at her in the face and was obviously the mom of one of the girls. Also keep in mind these are little girls either in kindergarten, first, or second grade.
I stood up and said, “Excuse me, what is the problem exactly?”
“They leave their trash everywhere and it makes a lot of work.”
“They seem to be eating their lunch to me. I agree we should ENCOURAGE ALL the children to clean up after lunch. That’s why we should ASK THEM RESPECTFULLY, and POLITELY, to keep the lunch area clean.”
She walked away.
I didn’t do anything else because I was flustered, and also was in the middle of a simultaneous game of Parcheesi and Chutes and Ladders with a group of 12 children. But now, I wish I had talked to the mom sitting behind me on the bench and her children too. We had exchanged a few comments but I woudl like to tell her “Que mal educado este lunch lady, y por qué? Porque ella está tan racista y no sabe como comportase bien.”
Also, I will be writing the principal and the HR person for the school district to report this behavior. I will write tonight, but I’ll find out for sure tomorrow what that woman’s name is because in the morning I’m going to the school to hunt her ass down and explain to her what I feel that I saw. I saw her yell at two little children who may not have even understood her language, and she did it on purpose in front of their mom, to harrass and intimidate the mom and make them all feel small.
I am going to bust that woman, if it is the last thing I do, and if I have to go hang out on the playground every single day until I catch her at it again.
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