A Dismaying Sign of the Times

For the last six years, my husband has had a contract cleaning for a local daycare center/preschool. He works there every weekday evening, starting as soon as school is “out” at 5:00 and staying until the place is clean three hours later.

Usually, there are still some kids there waiting to be picked up when he arrives, along with multiple staff members. Over the years, he has of course gotten to know the staff and many of the children. Often, they greet him with glee, running to give him hugs and exchange a few words with him. He gets such a kick out of his interactions with them.

So you can imagine his disbelief yesterday when he was informed that he must now arrive at work later—when all the children have left and the building is empty. Some of the parents were unhappy to see their kids running to hug this “stranger,” and they were uncomfortable enough to demand that rules be put in place to prevent it.

Now, if he should happen to arrive while there are still kids in the building, he is not allowed to interact with them at all. No doubt they will wonder why their buddy now avoids them.

It breaks my heart to think that we as a culture have reached a point where every relationship, no matter how innocent, is now suspect. Nothing even slightly questionable has ever happened during the years my husband has been working around those kids. Any time he has interacted with a child, it has been in a public setting with staff members and others present. He has just enjoyed this chance to bring smiles to those adorable young kids.

He had a talk with the lady who runs the place, and she was very regretful, but she also understands the power of the kind of pressure she’s under, and she knows if she doesn’t satisfy the concerned parents, she will have to cancel my husband’s contract when the pressure is increased. So she is doing what she can to save his job, and I understand that. It just makes me incredibly sad that this situation is even occurring.


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