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Suburban Dad: If PTAs Were Run the Dad Way

“What was once an easygoing volunteer group has begun to give way to male leadership,” said The New York Times last week, writing about the “changing face of the Parent Teacher Association,” otherwise known as the headlong rush of dads into the last bastion of pure motherhood in the nation: the PTA. Meaningful change, of course, always comes harnessed to far-reaching implications. Moreover, it’s important to remember that although dads often preen about the invigorating nature of their newfound participation in the world of their children, the reality is often—well, let’s just call it a touch more complex.

After all, does anyone really think dads will have anything other than feet of clay around the traditional PTA bake sale table? It’s a small sample size, but the dads I know would probably gobble the cupcakes, pitching the bake sale into the red, imperiling that band trip to Disneyland faster than they can wipe the custard out of their beards.  So what happens when a bunch of imposing, egotistical lugs takes hold of the PTA?  We can only hold out heads in our hands as we imagine:

Stock Options Doled Out at PTA Meetings . To date, PTA meetings have been about the only boards in America that don’t involve handing out wheelbarrows of stock options for your 14 minutes of rigorous work. With men in charge, that will change. In place of the old form of compensation, which never rose above tea and crumpets, expect grants for stock options, including backdated ones, the best kind.

Casino Night. PTA’s have thrown Casino Night’s in the past, but they’ve been tame affairs, with fake currency. But pretend play if for wimps. What is this, kindergarten? With dad in charge, Casino Night will be played for keeps. Let’s make those deuces wild and remember: the house always wins…then donates the funds for glitter, glue and hamster food.

Game Worn Ties. Game worn uniforms from sports stars have been a big auction items all across the nation. Well, it’s not sports star joining the PTA, but as the Times made clear, many dads are coming with success at the higher echelons of the business world.  So how about auctioning off game worn ties? This Brooks Brothers beauty was worn by a private equity managing partner, when he laid off 2,000 employees to turn a profit and secure a year-end bonus that could float a ship.

Dads taking on—and over—the PTA .  Let’s call it the evolution of the species. Or, perhaps, the devolution of our schools. Either way, change is in the air. In their headline, The New York Times asked: “What’s New at the PTA, Dad?” Give dad a little bit of time and the answer might very well be “Plenty, son. Those cupcakes baked with rum cost double.”

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