Friday, November 19, 2010

Why Parents are Not Involved or have Ceased to be involved in their Children’s Schools and/or Education by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

Why Parents are Not Involved or have Ceased to be involved in their Children’s Schools and/or Education by Mrs. Dorothy Barron
        “Where my child goes, I go; you got my child, you got me”(Mrs. Dorothy Barron).

Do not assume that because a Parent is not in the school, he/she does not care about the child’s education. We use the term Parent(s), because the parent is ultimately responsible for his/her child, but the word can be applicable, here, to any caregiver that has the legal oversight and decision-making authority for a child. Parents are not involved or have ceased to be involved in their children’s schools and/or education for a number of reasons; ten have been listed for your perusal:

1.      Job-  the top priority for most parents range from putting food on the table to climbing the career ladder. The child is important, but takes second priority to the aforementioned. From another aspect, some parents have clearly delineated and designated roles(parents/educators)- their job is to parent and the educators’ job is to educate their children.
2.      Other Responsibilities- such can encompass a new baby, the care of elderly parent or others
3.      Unable to assist- aged, disabled, ill, not a daily part of the child’s life, institutionalized, homeless and in dire straits, multiple children in different schools or deployed and serving this country in the military prevents some parents’ involvement.
4.      Lack of education and/or knowledge- unfortunately and sadly, some parents in this category are stigmatized by those within our schools and Education System.
5.      Do not know how to assist- believe it or not, this was the number one reason for lack of involvement
6.      Composition of Head of Households- single parents, elderly grandparent(s), etc.
7.      Schools not welcoming, unfriendly and hostile- such can range from overwhelmed and frantically busy staff to deliberate attempts to prevent parents from coming into the schools.
8.      Conflict- when conflict occurs between a parent(s) and educators and remain unresolved, it is only a matter of time before that parent (s) will ceased to become involved with the school from the standpoint of a partner. Such often affects the atmosphere of the school and others parents as well. Others do not want to get caught in the middle of conflict and will avoid the school; most have enough conflict of some sort in their own lives and aren’t signing on for more.
9.      Lack of Enforcement of Parents Rights in Education- when parents rights have been violated from a legal standpoint in education, often very little to nothing occurs in resolving the offense(s). The situation becomes untenable, because even though much legalese has been written about Parents Rights in Education, practically no one insures that parents’ rights are upheld and enforced.  Numbers 8& 9 have been reasons in my attempts to pursue a legal career as an Attorney at Law(to no avail).
10.  No interest in Education- such may stem from the parent’s own school experience(s) and/or from one or more reasons listed above.
Whether you view the above reasons as being valid or invalid as to why parents are not involved or have ceased to be involved in their children’s  schools and education does not matter. What really matters is the reason(s) are valid to the parent(s). Therefore, PTA/PTO Presidents, Educators and/or anyone else desiring to get Parents involved in their children’s schools and/or education, you must begin exactly where the parent is and work from that point. Such involves a process and takes time and patience.

Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Author 

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