Image for the article titled Parents, Please Stop Doing These Things in School Group Chats

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It’s that time of year again when we buy school supplies worth a small gross domestic product, prepare our children’s backpacks, wave them off at the bus stop and breathe a sigh of relief that the school is back to business. And then, as we work in blissful silence, you watch in horror as the school’s WhatsApp chat notifications come in.

However, “roll” is a generous term. More like pouring … as if you could use an ark to protect your belongings during the deluge. And while parenting WhatsApp group chats can be a quick and useful way for school to disseminate information, they can also be lengthy, unproductive, off-topic chains of irrelevance.

Whether by class or (dear sir) after the entire class, once you join you will endure tangents, head-scratching questions and wild comments with a splash of helpful information. To make it more enjoyable and bearable for everyone, we’re introducing these unspoken guidelines of chat etiquette for school groups.

Please do not have one-on-one conversations

Remember this is a group chat – for questions and information about the school that can benefit everyone. If you want to find out what equipment little Johnny needs for the T-ball, or if you want to ask Audrey’s mom which teacher she has this year, just take it offline. The entire group does not need to be involved in face-to-face conversations, especially those unrelated to the purpose of the chat.

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Don’t freak out and cause unnecessary debate

If one parent asks if middle school students need to bring a snack and another parent says, “Some teachers let them,” and then another helpfully adds, “When my son was there, he wasn’t allowed,” to which the original parents respond replies, “I’ll wrap one just in case,” and then someone says, “Well, I don’t think they should snack them during COVID,” and within five minutes the innocent snack question became a heated debate whether children can go to school without vaccination? Yes. Do not do that. Stick to the original topic, Betty. (You too, Burt.)

Save your personal photos for Instagram

Perhaps this was done in error. Perhaps they didn’t really want to post pictures of their children holding their two dogs’ leashes with no context, caption, or reason. Maybe it was meant for another chat? Yes sir. It must have been … Because there is no other plausible explanation for why random Shih Tzus showed up in 4th grade group chat.

Avoid spam in chat

If someone posts that the individual class gift contribution is $ 10, please refrain from being the 18th person to say “OK”. Also, before asking a question, check your chat history to see if it has already been answered (tap the group name and select the orange magnification class icon for “Chat Search”).

Also avoid: text bombs. Keep the articles short and brief (three in a row? Please no.) Proofread before sending; Try to shorten additional words and make them more concise. Only ask one question at a time. More than that, and the thread can get confusing if questions go unanswered.

Limit the complaints and arguments

If you think your daughter’s classroom is too cold and you want to know who to contact with the problem, there are several options, none of which involve 20-200 other people. Try calling the school office, Googling the district facilities department, or packing a sweater.

Similarly, complaints about wanting more choice at lunch, math class, different sports, or that you would never get a phone to your child at this age have no place in group chat. Some of us are just here to find out if the buses are late and when the Halloween party is.

Avoid posting questionable content

Look, memes and memes alone got us through all of 2020. As entertaining as they may be, they are not intended for pseudo-professional group chats. Anything we have to send simply because we think it’s funny should be forwarded to a friend. The same applies to unchecked chain mail warnings of fraudsters on the loose.

Don’t answer too many questions

If a question has already been adequately answered and there is no more value to be added with another answer, no matter how much we want to say how we did this thing, it is not necessary. It really isn’t. Bring that seething energy to Facebook.

Don’t ask questions that you can easily google yourself

We understand that this is subjective, and one person’s “stupid question” is another person’s: “The same thing I asked myself”. But do we all agree that the question of whether the free lunch is $ 2.45 or $ 2.50, and when is the first day of school – when the next day – is not a smart one? Honey, that’s what the district websites and your friends are for. Don’t make this request in a group chat with dozens, if not hundreds, of parents you don’t know. Similarly, unless there is a global shortage of Amazon, Target, and Staples, ask, “Where can I find composition notebooks?” is really only better left unsolicited – for your own sake.