I used to babysit quite a bit during the school year and I was always struck by how easy it was for me to collect kids from campuses.
Mothers every fall and spring load me up with passes and keychains, all with the crest of the school and the school year, that permit me to be on the premises. I’m told at the beginning of every job that I’ll need photo ID to get in the door –that I’ll have to sign the child out with proof of my name.
But despite parents urging me to carry three forms of photo ID (the airport only requires one, mind you) and a special “nanny pass” upon arrival, I’ve never been checked. Not even once. In over 10 years of babysitting.
Of course, no form of ID can possibly outweigh the visual of a child bounding across the playground to meet a grownup — especially a young woman. I acknowledge that I’m not exactly what school guards and administrators are looking for when they consider the profile of a kidnapper. I’m a petite female most often noted for wearing sundresses and pearls. In some cases, I barely look any older than the kids I watch.
Nevertheless, I get waved through hallways and allowed onto playgrounds without any further questioning as to who I am and why I’m there. The most I’ve ever had to do is sign my name along a sign-out sheet, right along the busied signatures of parents who are double parked. Secretaries and teachers don’t even ask me my name, let alone check to make sure that I’m leaving the correct one.
Granted, I’m the same face everyday or in the case of some kids — two to three times a week. But the school’s casual and accepting nature towards adults who are clearly not the parents or family indefinitely makes me nervous. And I’m just the nanny.