“I was in so much shock, I had to read it twice,” said Jane McGreeley, 42, of Dayton, Ohio, in response to an angry email she and her husband, Brian McGreeley, 47, received from their local Parent Teachers Association.
The email, sent by Darlene Dawson, president of the Meadow Valley Elementary PTA, called out the McGreeleys’ failure to share back-to-school photos of their two children (names withheld) on Facebook and Instagram.
“Your blatant disregard for your children is evident by your inaction,” Dawson wrote. “We have no choice but to ban you from participating in our Parent Teachers Association until further notice.
For Jane McGreeley, who was in charge of the PTA’s annual brownie sale, this was a tough blow. Mr. McGreeley, who lead the school’s casino night fundraiser was also affected by the news.
A respected visual effects artist, McGreeley is known to produce elaborate videos to showcase family milestones. His daughter’s birth announcement was screened at Sundance and went on to receive several accolades including an Oscar nomination for best documentary short.
When asked why he and his wife decided not to make a big deal out of their kids’ return to school, McGreeley responded, “I guess we just weren’t feeling it this year.”
The McGreeleys’ decision affected more than just the PTA.
Holly Smith, a neighbor and family friend, was concerned when her Facebook feed was devoid of any back-to-school photos of the McGreeley children.
“I thought maybe they decided to homeschool this year. They are pretty hippyish. They drive a hybrid, after all.”
The McGreeleys attempts to appeal the PTA’s decision have failed thus far. The Meadow Valley PTA is notorious for its strict policies; something former member Cynthia Fern knows all too well.
“One time I brought only vanilla cupcakes to the bake sale, and that was all it took. I now drop my kid off two blocks away out off shame.”
When asked to comment on the PTA’s policies, and the McGreeley case specifically, Dawson said, “We all know that a well-crafted back-to-school photo complete with chalkboard declaring the child’s desire to become a My Little Pony or Spider-Man is essential to ensuring they become productive members of society. We don’t want to work with parents who have so little regard for their kids future.”
Though she is now a social pariah, Mrs. McGreeley sees the positive side of her situation.
“The PTA took up so much of my time. Now, I’m free to pursue my other passions, motocross and extreme couponing.”