Friday, December 3, 2010

Jailing of Parents- School Involvement by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

Jailing of Parents- School Involvement Issue by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

Over the last two weeks, the subject of Parental - School Involvement has been the topic at Parents Taking Charge in Education Blog. We have looked at Ten(10) reasons why Parents are not involved in their children’s schools and/or education and Four(4) types of Parental - School Involvement. Perhaps, the aforementioned posts and questions below will provide thoughts for consideration when dealing with today’s topic, Jailing of Parents – School Involvement Issue.

The issue of possibly jailing Parents for not attending school conferences sped its way over and throughout the internet from various sources eliciting a range of emotions and comments. It appears that a Detroit prosecutor desires to initiate legislation to possibly jail a Parent who does not attend or hold a school conference with his/her child’s school(s) at some point throughout the child’s school year. *The link to the National Public Radio interview with the prosecutor and others has been listed, below.

We should also point out that having experience or expertise in one area or field does not automatically transcend into another field. 

Suggestions with extreme solutions or remedies for Parental involvement are not new; most are the result of attempts to garner attention and/or as the result of a high level of frustration. During the 1990s, in order to curb student school truancy, the law sought to fine Parents in such cases. If stats are correct, the present drop-out rate is higher and a national crisis. Now let us examine this jailing of Parents issue by asking a series of questions, which are:

Question #1- Why seek jail as the solution for parents who do not or choose not to attend or hold school conferences?
Question #2- On what legal ground (s) would you charge the parent(s)? With an already over-populated jail/prison system, where would you house parents; who then would be responsible for caring for the children, getting them to school, etc?

What would jailing Parents accomplish?
Ÿ  Chaos
Ÿ  An increased workload of present and often overburdened, ineffective legal and judicial systems
Ÿ  Antagonism and further alienation between parents and schools
Ÿ  Loss of work, wages and possibly the parent’s job
Ÿ  Possibly child endangerment charges or worse
Ÿ  Outraged parents and taxpayers

Question #3- How well do you understand the issues that involve parental - school involvement and/or lack of, our education system and schools?
Once, there was a teacher who continually bemoaned lack of parental involvement to me; one day, I simply asked her, how often she visited her child’s school? She was stunned; somehow, she did not think it applicable to her- a teacher. She never posed the question again, to me.
Question #4- What is the criteria for school involvement; what does such entail? Is school involvement a requirement for all parents; if so, how much?
Question #5 - what role do you play in supporting parents, education, schools, and ultimately, students?
Food for thought- Parents should be and many are responsible for their children, but, if we are busy mandating, legislating and eradicating Parents’ authority, how then can they become or continue being responsible Parents?

Special thanks to National Public Radio for permission to use the following link.
*National Public Radio. Schools Working to Increase Parental Involvement. . 11/01/2010

Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Author

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