Take Your Kid to Work ... Just Don't Let Him Direct Planes

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jfkWe understand -- especially in this economy -- how school closings can wreak havoc with the best of a parent's intentions. Good babysitters are hard to come by, and they cost money. And you can't very well forgo a day's pay every time the weather gets iffy or the kids are home sick or off for winter break.

So we weren't shocked when we heard the news that an employee at JFK airport had brought his son -- and then his daughter -- to work with him. What did surprise us was his job: air traffic controller. And that he allowed the kids to, essentially, direct air traffic, albeit by repeating his instructions.

In our experience, going to work with Dad meant sitting under his desk and coloring, or maybe being introduced to men in suits while hiding behind his legs. Not directing plane or even bus traffic, nor calculating the ratio and amount of chemicals needed to create polyester (Dad was a chemical engineer). True, sometimes we pretended to drive the car while sitting on Dad's lap, but that was not in a workplace environment, and Mom didn't like it.

Since the indiscretion, the employee and his supervisor have been suspended. "This behavior is not acceptable and does not demonstrate the kind of professionalism expected from all FAA employees," the FAA said in a statement. Unofficial visits by friends or relatives to FAA air traffic operational areas have also been barred pending a review of policies.

Meanwhile, the Internet is rife with comments chastising the employees for their apparent lack of concern for safety.

But the New York Times reports another point of view, from LiveATC founder Dave Pascoe: "I think it's just fantastic that this guy cared enough to take his kid to work. How many parents take their kids to work these days?"

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