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Soccer Initiation? Why does this feel wrong to me?


SKL
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I'm another pretty lenient boardie and I would definitely say no to 1:30am.  I might be okay with 10:30pm, IF I knew there were adults driving, proper supervision, and knew exactly where and when activities were taking place.    I would also tell my kid ahead of time.

I was in a sorority in college and they used to do the kidnapping thing.   They'd wake us up around 4am and take us to Waffle House for breakfast.   They would knock on our doors and make sure we were awake before coming in, we also knew the possibility was there.   We were allowed to put on decent clothes, but no makeup, brushing hair or getting dressed beyond decency.    But we were all adults and it really was just breakfast.

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I have a teen with PTSD - she'd be bat-guano crazed with fight or flight hormones if someone entered her room or tried to take her out of her bed at night. Um, this is a bunch of girls - I can almost guarantee that at least one of them has the same fear of people in their room at night. 

It'd be a hard pass in this family. 

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A few clarifications:

  • The seniors came up with this brilliant idea and approached the coaches with it.
  • The person contacting parents is the assistant / JV coach, and I think she is new and in her 20s.  I think she's a recent graduate of this high school.
  • School is not in session until next Monday.
  • I have not been asked to sign any permission slip, though they did ask my permission via email (before the facts changed).
  • I do believe our state has a law against minors driving minors in the middle of the night.  There might be an exception for documented school activities.  It is possible all the drivers are 18+, but that seems unlikely.

The coach's reply:

"So I was under the impression as well that the evening would be starting earlier. But as the seniors pointed out, they want the girls to be asleep so that we can wake them up and bring them out for a night of fun!

 
Myself and the seniors are meeting at ___’s at 10:30 and pickups will begin around 1 am. The only driving the seniors are doing is to pick up their assigned 3 girls, very minimal driving, and meet at [high school]. Since we are short a driver, I have to pick up some girls as well so I will not be watching the pickups happen. From [high school] on I will be there and Coach [main soccer coach] is meeting us at [high school] to be the targets for the water balloons. 
 
I hope this helps, please respond with any other questions or concerns!"
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5 minutes ago, SKL said:

A few clarifications:

  • <snip>
  • I do believe our state has a law against minors driving minors in the middle of the night.  There might be an exception for documented school activities.  It is possible all the drivers are 18+, but that seems unlikely.

The coach's reply:

"So I was under the impression as well that the evening would be starting earlier. But as the seniors pointed out, they want the girls to be asleep so that we can wake them up and bring them out for a night of fun!

 
Myself and the seniors are meeting at ___’s at 10:30 and pickups will begin around 1 am. The only driving the seniors are doing is to pick up their assigned 3 girls, very minimal driving, and meet at [high school]. Since we are short a driver, I have to pick up some girls as well so I will not be watching the pickups happen. From [high school] on I will be there and Coach [main soccer coach] is meeting us at [high school] to be the targets for the water balloons. 
 
I hope this helps, please respond with any other questions or concerns!"

I would outright ask the coach to confirm that ALL seniors driving are over the age of 18 and let her know that if not, that would put the coach (personally, I think) and the school under liability if any auto accidents happen. 

I would ask definitely if the school were aware and had approved this. I would definitely ask about official permission slips. 

And I would still say no.  

And it seems like a hair brained idea to me. At best. Those seniors probably saw it in a movie and thought it looked like fun. 

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"Can I just bring my daughter to the high school to participate in the rest of the fun? I'm not comfortable with them riding with a driver I'm unfamiliar with"

1) It would mean they had less driving to do overall

2) It would avoid the most contentious "kidnapping" aspect. Which no, I don't want my kids thinking this is normal or OK. Starting a event in the middle of the night -- with both coaches there. Could be worked around.

 

Edited by vonfirmath
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With the new information it would be a definite no.  Like there is so much no going on here.

This is age appropriate for the coach’s age of early 20s. Maybe even seniors.  But for a 14-year-old? Absolutely not and I also would see if the school itself know the details.  
My other concern is that not going affects her social standing on the team.  There are no other parents who object to their 14-year-olds being surprised in their bed at 1:30 am and then carted around town by 18-year-olds?  Do you know the other parents? If they’re raising concerns and objections, it might be easier for your daughter if/when you say no.

Always trust the mom gut.

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I am only involved with a different sport as a volunteer, yet I still need to go through the Safe Sport training.  One of the many rules in Safe Sport is that a coach or responsible adult is never allowed to be alone in a car with an athlete (excepting your own kids, of course).  This is something that all high school and club coaches should be vigilant and aware of in painful detail today.  If this coach isn't aware of these rules, it makes me wonder what else she is ignoring.

Edited by PaxEtLux
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My further thoughts (and boardies know I do NOT tend toward overprotective of my kids):

  • I don't even go in and scare my daughter out of bed when she's sleeping.  Ever.
  • She doesn't even go to soccer practice or masked TKD without doing her hair and make-up first.
  • Even though there won't be traffic in the wee hours of a Wednesday morning, I don't trust teens I don't know to be sober and careful.  The fact that they think it's a good idea to walk into a stranger's house with the parents possibly asleep does not reduce my concern.

I have to decide how to respond.  I would consider dropping her off myself at the initial location, after advising her (a) take a nap in the evening and (b) keep her cell phone handy and call me if anything goes awry.  I would probably be up all night in case she called.

I do want her to bond with the other underclassmen - in a safe and reasonable way.

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5 minutes ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

With the new information it would be a definite no.  Like there is so much no going on here.

This is age appropriate for the coach’s age of early 20s. Maybe even seniors.  But for a 14-year-old? Absolutely not and I also would see if the school itself know the details.  
My other concern is that not going affects her social standing on the team.  There are no other parents who object to their 14-year-olds being surprised in their bed at 1:30 am and then carted around town by 18-year-olds?  Do you know the other parents? If they’re raising concerns and objections, it might be easier for your daughter if/when you say no.

Always trust the mom gut.

 I was thinking similar.  I don't know the other parents.  Covid prevented anyone from actually being together since we joined this school/team.

I have a hard time believing I'm the only parent who finds this concerning.

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8 minutes ago, SKL said:

My further thoughts (and boardies know I do NOT tend toward overprotective of my kids):

  • I don't even go in and scare my daughter out of bed when she's sleeping.  Ever.
  • She doesn't even go to soccer practice or masked TKD without doing her hair and make-up first.
  • Even though there won't be traffic in the wee hours of a Wednesday morning, I don't trust teens I don't know to be sober and careful.  The fact that they think it's a good idea to walk into a stranger's house with the parents possibly asleep does not reduce my concern.

I have to decide how to respond.  I would consider dropping her off myself at the initial location, after advising her (a) take a nap in the evening and (b) keep her cell phone handy and call me if anything goes awry.  I would probably be up all night in case she called.

I do want her to bond with the other underclassmen - in a safe and reasonable way.

Initial location? Do you think they are going to be driving elsewhere after getting to the high school -- i guess so for the campout in a backyard?  I had not considered that aspect.  I think that would turn it into a no. Given how the rest ahs gone I don't trust that the driving from one location to the next would be safe either.

 

ETA: I have a 14 year old boy

 

I have, in the past, let him go to an overnight youth event at church where they drove elsewhere. But it was put on by adults I trusted and all driving was by adults. And my son had buy-in (in fact originally I was going to pick him up and he ended up deciding to stay and called to get a pillow and sleeping bag)

 

Edited by vonfirmath
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8 hours ago, SKL said:

I was thinking maybe I should spill the beans so that my daughter can mentally and physically prepare for an overnight, and so that I can give her advice on what to do should the other girls make very bad choices.  But if I spill the beans, what if she refuses to go?  Ugh.  Why can't anything just be simple?

Besides all of the other concerns mentioned (riding with a teen driver at 1:30 am, etc.), I really really think you should tell her ahead of time! She can then fake surprise if she wants to. You and she should be "in on it" together, not you and the teammates. This goes double if she does not like surprises.

Edited by Longtime Lurker
clarity
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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, vonfirmath said:

Initial location? Do you think they are going to be driving elsewhere after getting to the high school -- i guess so for the campout in a backyard?  I had not considered that aspect.  I think that would turn it into a no. Given how the rest ahs gone I don't trust that the driving from one location to the next would be safe either.

 

Hmm, I guess I assumed they would be walking distance to the second location.  I should ask about that too.

ETA the coach did say the only driving would be from the girls' homes to the school.

Edited by SKL
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My response:

"While I love the idea of the girls having bonding time, I really don't see this plan working for us.  Could I drop her off at [high school] when the festivities start there?

 
Are most of the other underclassmen going to participate in this?"
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There's several movies that do something similar, as well as a whole episode of Gilmore Girls. My friends did something similar in high school, although it was for a birthday not a school thing.  I really don't understand what the big deal is.

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It sounds like great fun for the seniors who will be prepared, dressed, and with makeup on. Not so much for a kid ripped out of sleep.  And no way would I let my kid ride with a teen…even an 18 year  old one… in this scenario.  I’d also worry that the kidnapping scenario might leave her w some anxiety that will impact her sleep in the few weeks after the event. 
 If you’re inclined to allow it, I’d surely consider telling Dd (actually I’d ask if she wants to participate) so she can be prepared…maybe go to bed w makeup and clothes on. And it would also prevent the aforementioned butt kicking that she might dole out if wakened unexpectedly. I mean, that martial arts training might just kick in automatically!

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9 minutes ago, Katy said:

There's several movies that do something similar, as well as a whole episode of Gilmore Girls. My friends did something similar in high school, although it was for a birthday not a school thing.  I really don't understand what the big deal is.

There are quite a few things that happen in movies that I would not want to happen in RL.

 

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34 minutes ago, SKL said:

Even though there won't be traffic in the wee hours of a Wednesday morning, I don't trust teens I don't know to be sober and careful.  The fact that they think it's a good idea to walk into a stranger's house with the parents possibly asleep does not reduce my concern

Even though I realize the event I'm about to recount was a freak accident, reading about this situation strongly reminds me of something that occurred in our small town in the spring.  A 16 year old was driving two 14 year olds home from a post-volleyball team event (they were teammates) at around 9:00 in the evening.  Somehow the car went off the road and into a ravine.  All three were killed.

There is no way I'd let my 14yo drive with a teenage driver I didn't know, forgetting about the fact that the entire thing seems crazy.

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59 minutes ago, pinball said:

I’m stunned no one mentioned Covid (that I saw…)

This could become a super spreader event!

If the kids are already going to school together, practicing together on the field and breathing heavily, and likely working out together, it's not likely to contribute much to spread, if at all.  I'm a lot more concerned about SKL's DD being in a traffic accident due to the driver being young and sleep deprived, or that this ends up being hazing by another name. 

 

I was in a service fraternity in college where new members got a knock on their door by one of the upperclassmen who lived in their building (usually an RA)  one early Saturday morning, and then we went out to breakfast at a 24 hour diner, followed by a day of activities. If you knew any upper classmen at all, you knew it was coming sometime, just not when, because even though the actives didn't tell you, it was one of the things that org was known for, just like everyone knew that, for about a week in the Spring, freshman theater majors would be answering every comment with a given line (before continuing the conversation, answering the question in class, etc) as part of pledging Alpha Psi Omega or that female music majors would spontaneously burst into "I hear that call " in response to a specific line of notes if they were pledging SAI. But that's a bit different. 

Edited by Dmmetler
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41 minutes ago, SKL said:

I have to decide how to respond.  I would consider dropping her off myself at the initial location, after advising her (a) take a nap in the evening and (b) keep her cell phone handy and call me if anything goes awry.  I would probably be up all night in case she called.

I do want her to bond with the other underclassmen - in a safe and reasonable way.

I don't know what the high school culture is like there, but around here, even though the social activities are nominally run by the captains and seniors, the captains' moms actually do most of the work.  I would find out the names of the captains, and call on their moms, even if you don't know them now, and express both your concerns, and you desire that your dd bond with the team in a safe way.  Ask them if this has been done before, is there another way to do a sleepover, etc.

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20 minutes ago, Katy said:

There's several movies that do something similar, as well as a whole episode of Gilmore Girls. My friends did something similar in high school, although it was for a birthday not a school thing.  I really don't understand what the big deal is.

This was my initial reaction too.  But there are some key differences.  This is a 14yo with a group of people she does not know well, not "friends."  And 14 years old (I felt the need to repeat that).  And the parent does not know these people.  And the coaches are showing a lack intel about of state driving laws and Safe Sport rules.  AND, 1:30 in the morning with new drivers that the parents does not know.  That is a far cry from close friends "kidnapping" each other for a sleepover or fun diner breakfast.  Or even young adults consenting to group shenanigans.  

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Is this a private school? I cannot imagine any public high school approving such a plan. 

What I would do - 

Tell my daughter exactly what I've been told, including what she would be doing and who would be driving, and ask her if she would like to participate.

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I think it sounds like forced "fun" and puts the upperclass students in a power position over the underclass students who are being "surprised." - the older students have had time to prepare - look their best- and they want to surprise wake up people in the middle of the night! Hell no. If I didn't have time to prepare I would be super self conscious about everything from hair to breath to clothes. Not dynamics I would want my 14 year to partake in. I agree that the ability to drop her off somewhere allows her to participate once she is prepared to do so. 

I didn't see what day of the week this is planned, yet as a teen we often considered what times bars closed and tried not to be out driving then. 1:30 sounds like an opportune time for some drunk drivers to be out. 

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OP, I think you are making the right choice to not allow the driving part.  Distracted driving is a huge concern with teen drivers.  My DD is 17 (a rising senior) and at this point she is still only allowed to drive 1 friend at a time, and at this point I would not allow her to drive after midnight (I'm not even sure if driving after midnight is allowed here for minor aged drivers unless it is for work or a school sanctioned event)! Nor would I allow my rising freshman to ride with teen drivers that late at night.   

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Well, I said I’d sum up with nope, but I’ll go ahead and add my sticking points:

1) is it legal? (Teen driving laws)

That should be enough imho, but my next biggest concern is that we don’t let our 14-year old dc go out at 1:30am, especially with other teens driving—even if they’re family or close friends. (Again, it’s not even legal here, but we wouldn’t allow it anyway)

Those are the big things to me, but as others have said, many other things would bother me. 

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24 minutes ago, EKS said:

There is no way I'd let my 14yo drive with a teenage driver I didn't know, forgetting about the fact that the entire thing seems crazy.

Plus they'll all be hyped up from the excitement = not concentrating on driving as well as the usually would. 

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1 hour ago, SKL said:

A few clarifications:

  • The seniors came up with this brilliant idea and approached the coaches with it.
  • The person contacting parents is the assistant / JV coach, and I think she is new and in her 20s.  I think she's a recent graduate of this high school.
  • School is not in session until next Monday.
  • I have not been asked to sign any permission slip, though they did ask my permission via email (before the facts changed).
  • I do believe our state has a law against minors driving minors in the middle of the night.  There might be an exception for documented school activities.  It is possible all the drivers are 18+, but that seems unlikely.

The coach's reply:

"So I was under the impression as well that the evening would be starting earlier. But as the seniors pointed out, they want the girls to be asleep so that we can wake them up and bring them out for a night of fun!

 
Myself and the seniors are meeting at ___’s at 10:30 and pickups will begin around 1 am. The only driving the seniors are doing is to pick up their assigned 3 girls, very minimal driving, and meet at [high school]. Since we are short a driver, I have to pick up some girls as well so I will not be watching the pickups happen. From [high school] on I will be there and Coach [main soccer coach] is meeting us at [high school] to be the targets for the water balloons. 
 
I hope this helps, please respond with any other questions or concerns!"

I would respond alright, and I would be BCCing school administration in my response. No, this is not ok. 10:30 on a non-school night to get pizza and play games? Maybe. Pulling people out of their beds after midnight to be driven around in the middle of the night by a teen who is *maybe* 6-12 months out of their probationary driving period? No. Just no. 
 

Like I said, I’d include school admin in on the email chain, tell the coach that this is a no for your daughter, and that you fully expect the coach to ensure that there will be no repercussions for your daughter. 

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Speaking as the crazy mom who sent her 12-year-old daughter 800 miles away to go to college . . . I would not be okay with this plan. 

Given the coach's response and explanation that they will be on hand as water balloon targets and, presumably, chaperones at the high school, I would not necessarily say a firm no to my 14-year-old participating in that portion of the event. However, I would definitely not be okay with the surprise/kidnapping aspect. As others have mentioned, in an age in which we are encouraging the absolutely necessity of consent, I find the idea of this abhorrent. And both of my kids would have been very stressed at being subjected to this kind of thing, as well as furious with me if I had known about it/consented on their behalf and not warned them. 

In your shoes, I would probably discuss it with my daughter, explain the plan as you understand it, and ask her to decide whether she would like to participate, on the condition that she accept whatever plan you feel comfortable with regarding transportation. I can see offering to deliver my kid to the school, to request that the coach be the one to pick her up or possibly to allow the student driver if you can verify that she is over 18. (Okay, to be truthful, what I would probably do is to volunteer to take the coach's place as one of the drivers.) 

I would require my kiddo, as a condition of participating, to carry her cell phone and keep it turned on and to check in at designated times or perhaps a certain number of times, on pain of suffering the embarrassment of having her mother arrive at school to collect her.

I might also volunteer to assist with the event, which would give me an excuse to be present for at least some portion of the time. Don't they need a snack mom? Someone to pick up/serve the pizza? 

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I work at a private middle/high school, have a 14 year old daughter and older high school boys. There is literally no way I can conceive any coach/teacher at our school allowing this. If admin heard about it, they would immediately shut it down. In our state, there would be all kinds of issues with driving minors, driving late at night, driving too many people in the car. And the serious issue of entering someone’s house in the middle of the night. So. Many. Problems. with this. Our coaches would be fired for something like this. 

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I frankly don’t even want an 18 year old driving my kids around, especially at night.  I am a lot more permissive with stuff than many parents, but I draw a hard line at who my kids ride with.

being super close to school doesn’t make me feel better either.

OP, is this something your daughter would even enjoy?

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One more thought. I would immediately send all communications like this to the admin with a general message of, do you know about this/ have liability issues been thought through with driving/entering someone’s house in the middle of the night? The very strong odds are they don’t know about most of it and will shut down the horrible parts of this themselves. I’m assuming (based on my school), they would make it something fun at the school at a normal hour. I would one hundred percent let the admin know immediately. I’d probably call first and then email them the actual emails so they have them but that’s just me.

Edited by momto3innc
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14 minutes ago, Jenny in Florida said:

Speaking as the crazy mom who sent her 12-year-old daughter 800 miles away to go to college . . . I would not be okay with this plan. 

Given the coach's response and explanation that they will be on hand as water balloon targets and, presumably, chaperones at the high school, I would not necessarily say a firm no to my 14-year-old participating in that portion of the event. However, I would definitely not be okay with the surprise/kidnapping aspect. As others have mentioned, in an age in which we are encouraging the absolutely necessity of consent, I find the idea of this abhorrent. And both of my kids would have been very stressed at being subjected to this kind of thing, as well as furious with me if I had known about it/consented on their behalf and not warned them. 

In your shoes, I would probably discuss it with my daughter, explain the plan as you understand it, and ask her to decide whether she would like to participate, on the condition that she accept whatever plan you feel comfortable with regarding transportation. I can see offering to deliver my kid to the school, to request that the coach be the one to pick her up or possibly to allow the student driver if you can verify that she is over 18. (Okay, to be truthful, what I would probably do is to volunteer to take the coach's place as one of the drivers.) 

I would require my kiddo, as a condition of participating, to carry her cell phone and keep it turned on and to check in at designated times or perhaps a certain number of times, on pain of suffering the embarrassment of having her mother arrive at school to collect her.

I might also volunteer to assist with the event, which would give me an excuse to be present for at least some portion of the time. Don't they need a snack mom? Someone to pick up/serve the pizza? 

This is probably how I would handle it. And my DD is a 12 year old sophomore.

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I would be fine with all of it except the driving, which I would do myself to ensure my dd be able to participate.  Experiences like this can be important for group or team building, and if my dd was having trouble connecting socially with her teammates I would make sure she could attend.

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I really, really don't like surprises. I'd be asking my kids if they wanted to do it before I even considered. No way I'd be in on them getting surprised by people they don't know in the middle of the night.  Then there is the issue of random kids I don't know driving my kids in the middle of the night. 

I'd want to:

-inform my kid and see if they wanted to do it at all

-drive them there myself at a reasonable time- not in the middle of the night

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6 minutes ago, Amy in NH said:

I would be fine with all of it except the driving, which I would do myself to ensure my dd be able to participate.  Experiences like this can be important for group or team building, and if my dd was having trouble connecting socially with her teammates I would make sure she could attend.

This is how I would handle it, too. 

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1 hour ago, SKL said:

A few clarifications:

  • I do believe our state has a law against minors driving minors in the middle of the night.  There might be an exception for documented school activities.  It is possible all the drivers are 18+, but that seems unlikely.

The coach's reply:

"So I was under the impression as well that the evening would be starting earlier. But as the seniors pointed out, they want the girls to be asleep so that we can wake them up and bring them out for a night of fun!

Myself and the seniors are meeting at ___’s at 10:30 and pickups will begin around 1 am. The only driving the seniors are doing is to pick up their assigned 3 girls, very minimal driving, and meet at [high school]. Since we are short a driver, I have to pick up some girls as well so I will not be watching the pickups happen. From [high school] on I will be there and Coach [main soccer coach] is meeting us at [high school] to be the targets for the water balloons. 
 
I hope this helps, please respond with any other questions or concerns!"

So the coach is letting the seniors railroad her? “I was under that impression…but the seniors….” Someone needs to be the grown-up in the room and say, “I know it would be fun, girls, but that’s a no.”

If it’s illegal for them to be driving IT’S ILLEGAL FOR THEM TO BE DRIVING.  Oh my goodness. 

Does the part about “pick up their assigned 3 girls” mean that there will be up to 5 teens in a car? At 1:30 in the morning? That right there has just got to be illegal. (Or are there only 3 girls total being surprised? And they’re each picked up separately in 3 cars?)

 

10:30 at night—no problem. 1:30 in the morning is beyond ridiculous.  And it sounds like it’s literally criminal.

I’d contact the school and see if they know what’s going on. And if they don’t shut it down, I’d consider calling the cops. There are reasons for these laws. Life and death reasons.

 

Ok—that last line was a bit dramatic. But still…this is a plain ol’ stupid idea. 

Edited by Garga
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Driving with teens at 1:00am? No way in hell.  And that's probably the same response I'd give to the coach, who is obviously a total moron.  
 

Also, I hit people when I'm surprised.  I've smacked my son before when he jumped out at me.   Of course, I profusely apologized and hugged him, but he also never jumped out at me again.  It's an involuntary reaction and it's not that uncommon.   I'd imagine at least one girl is going to get punched in the face doing this.  

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Just a thought on top of all of the concerns already mentioned:

My dd's high school soccer team did a retreat after tryouts every summer--just the varsity team. It was chaperoned with coaches and a few parents of seniors and was definitely a safe event. But just socially it was a little difficult my dd's freshman year when it was just a couple of freshmen and a bunch of older girls she didn't really know and who weren't really interested in making friends with freshmen. There was never that level of bonding, to the point that it became really important to my dd in later years to always make friends with the freshmen and help them feel included. With the level of maturity indicated by the plans, I would not look to this event as necessarily something that will help a 14 yo bond with everyone else. And I would definitely talk it over with dd to see what she would want to do and make sure she was mentally and physically ready for the event--no surprises here.

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This feels off on so many levels.  Our state doesn’t allow that many teens in a car, at any time of day, so right there is an issue.  Our state doesn’t allow teen drivers out past midnight, either.  So the whole scenario would be illegal here.

If you feel strongly that kid should go, and this is important to her social acceptance on the team (ugh, it shouldn’t be, but I get it) … I’d go with something like @Jenny in Florida’s plan.  

I would not feel comfortable letting my kid get in an unknown teen’s car at 1:30 am, even if it’s legal where you are. Nor would I let my teen be woken as a surprise, think she was being kidnapped, didn’t have a choice, or any of the weird power dynamics that these kids are asking be arranged. Nope. I want my kid to have agency, choice, and time to prepare mentally. 

And I wouldn’t be ok with her being separated from her phone once at the event, so I think I’d verify that she will have access to her phone (that they won’t be collecting phones once there or something - obviously I have no idea if that’s the plan, but would want to ask since … weird power dynamics).  

I’m also getting the impression that school admin does not know about this poorly planned scheme, and would likely shut it down if they knew.  What’s your sense on that, OP?  
 

 

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What person thinks that this would be a fun thing for *everyone*.

None of my kids would enjoy this, even a little.

Some people like this stuff, others despise it. 

My girls come home from church lock ins at 11 pm because they're so tired it stops being fun. The fact that the adult in the room can't see the dynamics as problematic would be troubling to me. It seems like the upperclassmen would be having fun at the expense of others. The upperclassmen might not mind being woken up at 1:30 by friends. But for these younger girls, they are basically total strangers. How does an adult miss that?

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24 minutes ago, Seasider too said:

Hmmm my kid’s rep theater group does a 7am “kidnap” for breakfast to welcome newly admitted members. However, the parents are first called for permission and these theater kids are all pretty much extroverts and already know each other well, so it’s all fun.

Calling it an initiation and starting it with a surprise grab in the wee hours… that sounds more like hazing to me, or a third world political arrest. 

I do think what is going on in Afghanistan RIGHT now is feeding into my ABSOLUTELY NOT feeling for the kidnapping. Even though I'm not sure how much my son is aware of that.

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This was tradition for my team sport when I was in high school, except it was like 4 or 5 am. Fortunately, my mom hated the surprise aspect and told me the night before, so I got up extra early, made myself presentable, and got back in bed to wait. I would have been miserable had it happened as a surprise. There was hazing involved in mine as well. The seniors would choose the freshman’s clothes and make them look really stupid—usually underwear worn on top of clothes was involved, but I was a hard no on that and flatly refused. I did wear the other dumb stuff. Then they took us around and made us serenade people on our knees in the grocery store, and that kind of thing. I was actually okay with the rest of it, but it didn’t create any bonding with the others involved, and I would rather have skipped it. The secret Santa kind of things we did on event days were a lot better for bonding, in my opinion. 
 

I was also surprised no mention of Covid. We don’t even have anyone else come inside our house or ride in cars with others right now. I’m assuming this will all be done with no masks?

I’d let my kid know and then come up with a workable plan. I would question the coach’s judgement though. 

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The one thing I haven't seen brought up --- what adult is chaperoning the camp out at the seniors' house/back yard? how many kids are the adults supervising? 

Because "back in the day" I went to a sleepover at a friend's house hosted by friend/mom that was a teacher (so, I had a teacher, whose daughter was in my class, and the mom hosted a sleepover for this one class we were all in; this was middle school, so no driving). 

Our parents all said sure, b/c our teacher was supervising/hosting.

Only, our teacher/the mom went to bed, we were left on our own (inside the house, not even camping in the backyard). Various groups of us went out and TP'ed a house. Met up with the daughter's neighbor male friend. Roamed the area. And in general got up to all kinds of mischief that had our parents been aware of, would not have been great. 

Similarly, once upon a time at my own house, my mother (stellar mom that she was), at the suggestion of a visiting distant cousin, bought wine coolers for us teens. Then left. Leaving me to wander around own with a drunk friend, tipsy myself, trying to keep said friend from getting into more trouble than just, you know, being drunk. We ended up finally at a different friend's house, whose mom graciously took us home with a mini-lecture. 

So, all that to say.....I'd be honestly less concerned about the brief drive to the school, or the water balloons/pizza, and more concerned with the sleepover given that I don't know the parents, teens, adults supervising, or the like. A whole heck of a lot of shenanigans can happen in a bunch of tents in the backyard while the grown-ups sleep inside. With a vetted group of teens, this is one thing; with a not-reallyd-vetted group, where my kid is not close friends with any of them (making her possibly more of a target for any hazing type things, &/or making her feel more pressure to participate in things to "make friends," "look cool," etc.) -- nope. 

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52 minutes ago, momto3innc said:

I work at a private middle/high school, have a 14 year old daughter and older high school boys. There is literally no way I can conceive any coach/teacher at our school allowing this. If admin heard about it, they would immediately shut it down. In our state, there would be all kinds of issues with driving minors, driving late at night, driving too many people in the car. And the serious issue of entering someone’s house in the middle of the night. So. Many. Problems. with this. Our coaches would be fired for something like this. 

Yeah. It sounds like the coach is young, and wants the girls to like her. She may not understand all the issues with this plan. Not that she should be fired, or anything, but this is probably a learning opportunity for her. 

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12 minutes ago, vonfirmath said:

I do think what is going on in Afghanistan RIGHT now is feeding into my ABSOLUTELY NOT feeling for the kidnapping. Even though I'm not sure how much my son is aware of that.

I could do a whole post on why the kidnapping scenario is a no go for my daughter.  She who has spent a significant chunk of her cognizant childhood making plans for what to do if someone broke into our house in the night.

Let's just say that is not an experiment I'm willing to participate in.

The thing that surprises me is that I seem to be the only parent who feels this way.

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As far as Covid, I kind of assume everyone is vaccinated and not worried about it.  It also sounds like it's a 100% outdoor event, other than maybe 10 minutes of driving and whatever the tent situation may be.

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, TheReader said:

The one thing I haven't seen brought up --- what adult is chaperoning the camp out at the seniors' house/back yard? how many kids are the adults supervising? 

Because "back in the day" I went to a sleepover at a friend's house hosted by friend/mom that was a teacher (so, I had a teacher, whose daughter was in my class, and the mom hosted a sleepover for this one class we were all in; this was middle school, so no driving). 

Our parents all said sure, b/c our teacher was supervising/hosting.

Only, our teacher/the mom went to bed, we were left on our own (inside the house, not even camping in the backyard). Various groups of us went out and TP'ed a house. Met up with the daughter's neighbor male friend. Roamed the area. And in general got up to all kinds of mischief that had our parents been aware of, would not have been great. 

Similarly, once upon a time at my own house, my mother (stellar mom that she was), at the suggestion of a visiting distant cousin, bought wine coolers for us teens. Then left. Leaving me to wander around own with a drunk friend, tipsy myself, trying to keep said friend from getting into more trouble than just, you know, being drunk. We ended up finally at a different friend's house, whose mom graciously took us home with a mini-lecture. 

So, all that to say.....I'd be honestly less concerned about the brief drive to the school, or the water balloons/pizza, and more concerned with the sleepover given that I don't know the parents, teens, adults supervising, or the like. A whole heck of a lot of shenanigans can happen in a bunch of tents in the backyard while the grown-ups sleep inside. With a vetted group of teens, this is one thing; with a not-reallyd-vetted group, where my kid is not close friends with any of them (making her possibly more of a target for any hazing type things, &/or making her feel more pressure to participate in things to "make friends," "look cool," etc.) -- nope. 

I won't deny that I have thought of various possibilities with older teens.  I wish they would think of some less extreme way of having social time.  It's a hard balance - I can't say no to everything that might involve teens making poor choices.  I don't think my daughter would be easily led into something that felt wrong to her, but I could also see how it could be hard to say no.

Edited by SKL
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At 14 (or... now, lol) I would have been delirious at 1:30am. I'm just not a late night person. 

Plus, the age difference between 14 and 18 is just bugging me. As a freshman, I idolized certain older girls and would have done a lot to look cool with them. Particularly in the middle of the night, exhausted!

I like the 7am breakfast idea that someone mentioned upthread a lot better. They could still wake up the kids in a fun way, with loud music or water balloons on the window, or something. Kids that aren't into surprised could be forewarned, and just do their makeup and hair a little more imperfectly than usual that morning so as not to give away the secret 🙂 

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