By Lindsay Hameroff
The Little Learners Academy takes pride in our ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion. In this spirit, we are thrilled to welcome Lilliana, our school’s first vampire student, to our Turning Fours classroom!
Several families have already contacted our school director with questions, and Dr. Brenner apologizes if she has not returned your call. Her phone was recently lost in the Susquehanna River, in an incident entirely unrelated to the dozens of phone calls she’s received from parents in the last 48 hours. However, we remain committed to keeping our lines of communication open, and to this end, have put together a list of FAQs you may have about our newest friend!
1. Aren’t vampires dangerous?
Absolutely not! This is a stereotype founded on gross generalizations about the undead community. Little Learners Academy is committed to fostering a culture where differences are valued, and interactions are free of bias. Therefore, we ask you to please model kindness and tolerance, as outlined in our Little Learners community pledge.
2. Will this affect the snacks I can pack for my child?
While Lilliana adheres to a special, blood-only diet, we do ask that you refrain from sending in snacks that contain garlic, as this may cause our new friend to experience a reaction comparable to anaphylactic shock. In the spirit of inclusion, Lilliana’s family will provide blood pops for her to enjoy during birthday and other in-school celebrations.
3. Is my child expected to provide blood for Lilliana’s lunch?
Of course not. The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) allows Little Learner Academy to provide free lunches for all students, regardless of their dietary needs. We do not exactly know how NSLP plans to acquire blood, but like other federally-funded programs, we are choosing to accept the money without asking questions.
4. My child told me that Lilliana transformed into a bat during Monday’s fire drill. Is that true?
Yes, but to be fair, all children handle stress differently. While mortal preschoolers often cry or hug a lovey when frightened, vampire children occasionally transform into bats. As a child-centered institution, we encourage our students to be agents in their own learning and embrace whatever form of comfort feels right for them. We ask that you view these incidents as opportunities to discuss the importance of diversity and respecting each person’s unique qualities with your children.
5. What will happen if my child is bitten at school? Will he/she turn into a vampire?
Biting incidents are not uncommon in groups of little ones. While some say it’s better that your child is the one being bitten and not the one doing the biting, we understand that mantra may not necessarily hold true in this very specific situation. While we are confident in our ability to protect your child’s fragile mortality, we do recommend airing on the side of caution, and dressing them in a turtleneck for the remainder of the school year.
6. Do I have to invite Liliana to my child’s birthday party?
Yes. School policy still mandates that the entire class be included in birthday celebrations. However, we do ask families to prohibit the use of piñata sticks with pointy edges or any other objects that may be used as stakes.
7. Will my child be in danger if they are injured at school and start to bleed?
Yes, without a doubt. The moment blood begins to spurt, we will instruct students to abandon all previously discussed ideologies about diversity and inclusion, and run like the wind.
We hope you have found this information helpful, and appreciate your kindness and understanding as we make this exciting transition. With an open heart and a willingness to embrace our differences, we can strive to be better, together!
The Little Learners Academy
About the Author
Lindsay Hameroff lives in Harrisburg, PA with her husband and two kids. Her work has been published in McSweeneys, Weekly Humorist, Slackjaw, Little Old Lady Comedy, Points in Case, and more. She also co-edits Frazzled, a parenting humor site on Medium.