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Sometime after I had volunteered my time as a professional cartoonist in every classroom in McKinley School, in San Leandro, California, I was informed that I would be arrested if I tried to enter my children's classrooms, although I was welcome to volunteer (again) in any room in the school I wished.

The problem was this thing called an emergency card which each school keeps on file for each student. Since The Criminal refused to allow my signature on the card, I was therefore absolutely forbidden to see my children or interact with them in any way during school hours...or after school hours on school grounds. If they got sick or hurt, I would NOT be informed since I was not on the card. In all the years my girls were in school, I NEVER succeeded in getting my name on the card. I never was in a parent-teacher conference, never was invited to any school functions that involved my children nor was I informed of them. My daughter won the San Leandro Martin Luther King Day Poetry Contest, but I found out about it long after.

Like the Criminal said, she was going to see to it that things were arranged so "I'd never see them again". She certainly succeeded, with the willing help of the schools.

Thanks, Mr. Peterson!

Sarah kept asking me to stop by the school and see what she did in the afterschool program (where they stayed until their mother picked them up). I tried to explain to her that I couldn't, without saying anything about her mothers role in keeping me away. Finally she pleaded with me, so I stopped by ONCE for about five minutes, only to make my daughter happy. The baby sitter saw me, told The Criminal, and I shortly therafter received shouting, argumentative, threatening phone calls from The Criminal in which she cursed me roundly and threatened to "get a court order". I never tried to do anything with my girls that was connected with their school again.

The Darkside ©I.B. Nelson

Not in OUR classrooms, you don't!

I.B. Nelson cartoon series, 'The Dark Side', Not In OUR Classrooms You Don&rsquot;t, 2002 ©I.B. Nelson