One mom’s Facebook post has gone viral after she shared a permission slip she wrote in order for her sons to be able to climb trees.
Julie Holcombe of Yardley, Pennsylvania, recently wrote on Facebook that her twin sixth-grade sons, Ryan and Patrick, were scolded by a man they didn’t know for climbing trees after school in a field between two of the neighborhood’s schools.
The man allegedly threatened to tell the boys’ principal if he caught them climbing the trees again.
After she quizzed both of her sons separately about the incident to make sure they weren’t concealing any misbehavior, Holcombe decided that she wanted to make sure they were free to continue climbing trees.
So she wrote them a permission slip to show the individual in case they were confronted again:
My children have permission to climb any tree they so desire. In fact, I encourage it, whenever and wherever they can, for as long as they both shall live. I can think of few things better than knowing they are spending their time playing outside in the fresh air, taking advantage of the beautiful playground nature can provide, getting exercise, using their imagination, chatting with their squad of friends, all while climbing a tree.
“So from this point on, I respectfully ask that you let my kids be kids,” she added. “The time they have left to do so is fading painfully fast. Please don’t shorten that time any further. And if this correspondence doesn’t help calm your nerves about a potential lawsuit, below please find an official permission slip — admissible evidence in any court of law. Feel better? No? Then I suggest you climb a tree. It’s really relaxing.”
When Holcombe posted the permission slip on Facebook, she called it “a soapbox moment.”
“Generally speaking, I think parents are way too quick to place blame on teachers or school administrators for the shortcomings of their own children,” Holcombe wrote. “With that in mind, I acknowledge that this might be my own overreaction, but I couldn’t help it. Yes, I sent this with my boys this morning, just in case. Because for the love of Pete, kids should be able to climb trees.”
In a follow-up post, Holcombe wrote that her kids were confronted by the individual again, they showed him the permission slip.
Holcombe wrote that when she contacted the school district, they told her that “whoever approached the kids had no right to reprimand them, did not represent the school district, nor were his actions reflective of any directive from the district.”
According to Holcombe, the man who approached the children was later identified to be a teacher in the school district, and the administrator told her that the teacher “has now been told he is not to approach the kids again, and that in fact any kids are allowed to play on the tree as long as they are respectful of the property."
"I would expect that as well!” she added. “The school district itself was never the target of my ire per se, but kudos to them for handling this so well! Tree climbing for all!!!”
“Tree climbing wins,” she continued. “Childhood fun lives another day!”