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“It Takes a Village”

The lastest on trying to make parents accountable can be found here:

A Republican state lawmaker from Baytown has filed a bill that would charge parents of public school students with a misdemeanor and fine them for playing hooky from a scheduled parent-teacher conference.

Rep. Wayne Smith said Wednesday he wants to get parents involved in their child’s education.

“I think it helps the kids for the parents and teachers to communicate. That’s all the intent was,” Smith said.

Let me make it clear. I’m against the idea of fining parents for not making a scheduled parent-teacher conference. It wouldn’t do any good in the long run and, quite honestly, only supports my concerns about prescribing the “right path” for society. It’s wrong not to come to parent-teacher conferences, so let’s fine the parents. People can’t figure out that trans-fat is unhealthy, so let’s ban it. Those poor workers at the diner. They can’t handle the smoke so let’s ban smoking so everyone is healthier (um, weren’t people smoking when you applied there?). And so on, and so on.

I think these problems go back a number of years, when people decided that it takes “a village” to raise kids. Once that was happening, why would the parents feel like they need to be involved, really? Won’t someone else take care of that? Why a conference with a teacher…how inconvenient when Mommy [Daddy] has a deadline for tomorrow?

My hubby and I are virtually drooled on by the teachers when both of us come to parent teacher conferences with our children so we can all talk together about their progress, focus in the classroom and what we can do to help them learn even more. It truly is sad that some parents aren’t involved. As parental responsibility has been delegated out amongst “the village” those parents with no backbones seem to have accepted their fate and given up having any influence, involvement or control over their child’s education, healthcare, social life, circle of friends, television habits, game playing, etc. Shoot, who needs Mom or Dad when all of that is prescribed, has a rating or a label saying it is okay for Mom or Dad to let their kids listen or watch it. Do I think it’s bullshit? Absolutely. But it’s a way of thinking I’ve seen many around me adopt. And it’s sad for the kids. And for their kids. And sad for us when we need to rely on them to manage our country, our money and our care.

Raven said:

I got to thinking about this a little more. (uh oh..) A lot of parents are truly intimidated by the teachers...I know several who cannot STAND their kids' teachers and will not meet with them, without the Principal being there. It's not the best excuse in the world, but it is reality for so many. A lot of this mistrust comes from the village talk though...parents don't want teachers telling them how to parent and vice versa. Sadly in some schools, there is a culture among the educators that all parents need to DO MORE- and it's very true for a lot..but for some who do participate and who do care, this creates a negative relationship. I don't agree with fining parents who don't attend meetings. I think there are other ways to deal here.

GREAT POST MERRI!!! YOU need to do the drama more!! :mrgreen:

Nancy Stroosnyder said:

When Hillary first coined the phrase and titled her book "It Takes a Village", it scared the bejeebers out of me. But take a look: you've got a "village" in Texas ready to vaccinate pre-teen/teen girls to prevent cervical cancer caused by STD's, you have a "village" (can't remember where) turning our kids into Muslims for a week, so we can better understand that religion, we have "villages" everywhere dumbing down because we can't hurt the feelings of those that require extra tutoring....the list goes on.

I agree with Raven and you; fines are not the answer and I'm not sure what is. Parents who won't get involved in their kid's education, should not be parents, and teachers who choose to involve themselves in our children's education should not be expected to "parent."

ptg said:

The government will make the world safe for you. Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream. Uncle Sam and Aunt Nanny are watching out for the kids.

Chris said:

I think that law is fraught with problems unless carefully written but would be very helpful in general.

Fortunately, my brother is a teacher, so we form good and frequent communication with our kids' teachers early in the school year and that seems to make everything turn out ok.

Merri said:

It's not up to the government to tell me that being a good parent is showing up for conferences - I should already know that. ...and what's the punishment if a "bad" parent doesn't pay the fine? More fines they won't pay - more paperwork - an arrest and child protective services?

On this one we'll have to agree to disagree, Chris. We need good parents, not laws that force parents to be at a certain place at a certain time. That doesn't make them a "good" or involved parent, it only makes them compliant to a law so they don't get a fine).

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