This fall I took on the task of running our homeschool co-op. A local parish has generously rented it's religious education building to us for the last 6 years. For the most part it has been a good relationship with the parish staff as long as we fly under the radar.
We had our first meeting last week and everything appeared to run pretty smoothly until I returned home and had the dreaded phone call from our co-op liaison with the parish. Apparently the parish is undergoing its annual audit and as part of the process all groups using parish buildings and property are being audited for STAND compliance. STAND is the diocesan program implemented in response to the priestly abuse scandals of recent memory. Any adult or teen working or volunteering with children must undergo a criminal background check and watch a training video that is supposed to help them identify and prevent abuse of the children in their care. The parish has now decided our co-op group must go through the certification process. Never mind that we are all moms and we are there with our own children, because after all "it is for the children".
Quite frankly I am pretty torqued about the whole thing. This is NOT about the children. This is about the parish and the diocese protecting themselves from lawsuits. This is about the parish being audited and it needing to meet the standards of the audit. We aren't stupid, call it like it is. This is completely offensive to me and a complete waste of time and resources for the parish. Really, I am very sorry children have been abused by horrible, evil predators and I honestly pray it never happens to another child again, but to ask this of these moms is completely beyond the pale. For goodness sake, we homeschool our children as a means of protecting them from the predators of this world. But as Wingnut likes to say, using much less delicate vocabulary, "If one guy poops his pants, make everyone wear diapers."