Overwhelmed Ont. school staff member shares heartfelt post

Farah Khan
·5 mins read
Leslie Lascelle is seen with tears in her eyes as she looks ahead in a photo she shared to Facebook  (Facebook)
Leslie Lascelle, an elementary school office administrator in Ontario, shared a tearful photo and heartfelt message about her experience in recent weeks with the return to school. (Facebook)

Leslie Lascelle, an elementary school office administrator, shared an emotional Facebook post last week which has gained traction with people online.

She shared a tearful picture with a caption detailing her stressful experience working during COVID-19 where she has cried multiple times, been yelled at, and disrespected on the job.

The post comes after a rough start to the school year in Ontario as teachers, staff and parents say they have a lack of guidance, shortage of staff, and COVID-19 policies to navigate from the government.

“I cried at work yesterday. I also cried 3 different times last night after getting home from work,” Lascelle stated in her post. “I am an Office Administrator at an elementary school, and this is how my day has gone.”

Lascelle shed light on how staff are overworked and operating under difficult conditions on the job.

“I’m crying because the work and expectations that have been put upon us with the added ridiculous time frames are overwhelming,” Lascelle said.

She explained that she is crying from hearing the concerns of families, sending sick children home, being talked down to, all while trying to keep the school functioning.

“I'm crying because I have been told to get my sh*t together because a policy has changed and someone doesn't agree,” Lascelle said. “I am crying because I have 400 children and 50 staff to help try and keep healthy & illness free during a pandemic, yet parents continue to send their children to school sick.”

Lascelle pleaded to families out there to be kind and understanding when an office administrator reaches out to them. She says we are human too.

“So the next time you answer the phone and it is one of the school office staff calling, please remember that he/she has probably already been yelled at, spoken down to, and just right out disrespected and is already nervous about calling home again for a student,” Lascelle said.

She added that it is the school administration staff that juggle multiple tasks and make sure children are taken care of when the parents aren’t present.

“We wear many hats in the office and many times we work in the shadows going unnoticed,” Lascelle said. “Be kind and be thankful that there is someone looking out for your child when you can't be there with them.”

Lascelle’s post has received over 6,000 comments, 19,000 likes, and 29,000 shares. Other teachers, staff, and parents have expressed gratitude, thanked her for her work, and apologized for what she is going through.

Comment on Leslie Lascelle's post. Image via Facebook.com
Comment on Leslie Lascelle's post: "Sorry you were screamed at. As a healthcare worker and a parent I THANK YOU for all your [sic] doing to keep children and staff safe at your school. Keep your chin up. Your [sic] doing a great job, and all those parents whose children stay safe, I'm sure thank you as well." (Facebook)
Comment on Leslie Lascelle's post. Image via Facebook.com
Comment on Leslie Lascelle's post: "I truly don't think that you should be in this no win position. Yes, parents are going to freak out about a covid test for their child. Or being interrupting [sic] by the school as they try to get a hold of their lives. Does your school offer mental health support for the parents? Or did your school think that opening the doors would be enough? How is your school supporting you with trauma and stress? How about the students? I think this can be valuable now. Thank you! Stay safe. First take care of yourselves!" (Facebook)
Comment on Leslie Lascelle's post. Image via Facebook.com
Comment on Leslie Lascelle's post: "I'm sorry people are acting mean, stupid and rude. Everyone is anxious and tense. Everyone. There is no excuse for this loose, undisciplined, evil behavior. You are on the front lines and must continually remind yourself this rudeness and disrespect is not about you and is completely inexcusable. They are in the wrong. You are soldiering through a tough job. Never forget THEY ARE WRONG. Do not accept., do not internalize, their vile behavior." (Facebook)
Comment on Leslie Lascelle's post. Image via Facebook.com
Comment on Leslie Lascelle's post: "My son showed up at pick up two days ago with a tag on his backpack that he could now go on the bus. Teacher had no other papers, I received no emails. I had to go to the front door, ring the doorbell, explain myself and wait. The lady that came out had to print off a map for me as it is not available online. She verified my identity through the intercom and again with my son. I could have chosen to be angry or ungrateful but instead I chose to be kind and grateful as him now travelling by school bus is a Godsend for me. I will never understand rude and mean people. Especially to strangers...I said all that to say I respect and support the staff and teachers!!! They are all doing a job I could never do!...I have more respect for grocery workers, teachers and all support staff than most anyone in the government. You are all the front line workers. Your job is stressful and parents should be grateful and kind, not mean." (Facebook)