Angelina Jolie picks up her son, Maddox, at school. (Photo by Arnaldo Magnani/Getty Images) …
If you're an international superstar, you probably have some unique criteria for choosing your kid's school: parking for security detail, flexible class time, parents willing to sign confidentiality agreements. That last item was checked off the Jolie-Pitt list according to Us Weekly. Brangelina's kids have enrolled in "an elite French-American school" in Hungary, where the actress is on location for her next film. Her stipulation to the school: all parents have to sign an agreement that will penalize them for talking to the press about the famous family.
While the request is unique, it's hard to blame a mom for trying to protect her kids' privacy at all costs. After son Maddox's brief stint at a New York private school, Jolie got a glimpse at how gossip can get leaked to the press and paparazzi--even unintentionally.
So that's what it takes to be a celebrity parent. But what is it like being a fellow parent at a celebrity kid's school? A scan of the parenting forum UrbanBaby proves it's a topic of both pride and frustration for city-dwellers who live among the stars. Here is a glimpse at some of the real chatter we've collected from the boards about schools and celebrity parents [typos included].
On mingling at school functions and playdates
"there was a celebrity dad we knew. his wife was really nice and did all pick-up/drop-off. he was usually on tour, but when he was around he was not very nice. our kids were friends, but even at playdates, if he was around he was really cold and aloof. i think it had more to do with being a jerk than being a celebrity, though! didn't volunteer to fix/build things like many of the other dads or anything like that."
"there was one family in daughter's grade. very normal. mom (who was the celeb) would pick up her own kids and others after school in her SUV. kids participated in plays, chorus, fundraising - just like anyone else. Parents showed up to conferences etc, no fanfare. i didn't know her personally (different grade)but she always said hi to me and everyone else and she had several close friends in other moms who were not celebs/super wealthy. It's probably one of the few places where they can feel normal. their kids hung out with all the kids in their classes."
"there is the dc of a famous actress in my son's preschool class- I noticed this child from the get go because they are exceptionally beautiful looking- had no idea whatsoever that the parents were famous until I got the class list. This should give you a clue- they are very low key parents- the less famous parent is an active member of the school community - the much more famous one is much lower key- just modestly does pick up and drop off- some kids in the class with nannies do playdates with this child- who, despite being child model looking- is a typical charming normal 3yo-you'd never know in a million years."
"Not me, but a good friend's child goes to school w/dc of someone extremely famous. My friend has become a "mom friend" of this actress and it is hilarious to think about b/c my friend is so down to earth and non show-biz. But the kids have play dates together etc. and she and this actress are just like regular mom friends."
"i'm a public mom with experience with a couple bold-faced names. the ones i know are completely normal in their interactions with the class but there are boundaries. the home is pretty much off limits, personal information isn't included on the class list. that sort of thing."
"We have the child of a very famous personality in my son's class. The Dad (the famous one) has been around upon occasion and his wife goes to all b'day parties etc. It must be hard for her but she sucks it up! Very good for the kid, I think. Half the class skips parties because of country houses but they go."
On privacy and security
"Interesting: I asked my dd's teacher for the class list, and she said they can't give out parent info (#'s and addresses) for confidentiality reasons. She can give us the children's names though, but she hasn't. Weird or not?"
"At our private school, the famous mom, married to a famous dad would print their gmail e-mails and not their private ones, and they also gave a home address, but it was a temp home at the time. "
"We had a famous musician dad, who only gave gmail addresses, but also gave his real home address.""Does anyone know who is parking their behemoth black Mercedes van outside [our private school] with body guards with secret service like ear pieces? The weird thing is the school has asked parents not to drive their car to the front of the school for traffic reasons unless there is really bad weather and here is this huge van the size of two SUVs parked out front each day. It must be someone new because I have not seen anything like this in the last 4 years there. That I understand. Just wondering what family feels the need to come to my daughter's school in what looks like a tank filled with body guards. It makes ma a little concerned that a family going there has so much concern for their safety."
"I graduated from a "top tier" school but never gave money-kid did not get in. I have a friend who left a different "top tier "(m) school after 5th grade but is rich and famous and kid got in."
"One famous person's daughter auditioned for a performing arts high school. I have a child there and heard about it from parents in her program. She had a whole private audition (separate entrance, bodyguards, etc.) which mucked up the schedule for loads of other kids."