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Letter: In Defense of Moms Who Volunteer in the Schools

It was clear from last week’s lead letter to the editor that the author was in deep pain for her daughter. Bullying is, without a doubt, hurtful and destructive and, as the author suggested, not something our children, ideally, should ever have to deal with.

Unfortunately, like in any community, Manhasset has its share of people with agendas who often act on those agendas in thoughtless and malicious ways. Having acknowledged that, I can say, the problem is not going to be worked out by writing a letter to the editor (an anonymous one at that) – as good as it may have made the mother feel to get it off her chest. It is simply not a productive way of resolving an issue of this magnitude; in part because the offending party (a) may not read the letter and/or (b) has no clue that the author is talking to or about them.

However, I am not responding because of the author’s issue with certain people’s parenting skills and the ensuing bullying … but rather because of her generalized attack on moms who give of their time and energy to benefit the children in this community. As a past executive president of the SCA I can assure the author and anyone who read her letter that the vast majority of “mothers that volunteer” in this town are incredibly generous by nature and by deed.  But, by her own admission, the author would not know that as she has made a conscious decision not to get involved. I also take great exception to her statement that all of us who volunteer are “spawning children” who are insensitive, intolerant and unkind … and that we are all “too busy snubbing other adults or planning another bake sale” to notice the consequences of our actions.  Isn’t it just a little ironic that the author is herself using a form of bullying by stereotyping and verbally criticizing? Volunteers in this town are not a singular unit of popularity-seeking, gossip-circulating women, nor are we a singular unit of defective parents. While no one of us is perfect, the vast majority of those who “volunteer with pride” are looking to contribute to a positive value system.

In closing, the author would be better served addressing her issues face to face with those she feels have mistreated her family, as a problem such as hers is only solved by sincere and direct dialogue.

Mimi Donohue