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Three recent news articles caught the eyes of many a parent.  One bit of news came out of Florida that had to do with a legislator who doesn’t like a bill that is moving through it’s process.  It is SB 862 and is called Parent Empowerment in Education.  It promotes active participation in a much different way than just involvement.  It actually gives parents some say in how the school is run, above and beyond voting in board members and other administration.  Will this create some conflict? Sure it will. This one legislator in particular doesn’t like that fact that parents will have more authority.  My question to him would be, “So where does parenting authority stop and start with respect to children being educated by a local school system?”   Read The Bill Here

The next article, highlighted on many conservative sites today, has to do with a mom and dad who happened upon a crumpled paper with some writing in crayon.  Their young son had, in class, been directed to write this, “I am willing to give up some of my constitutional rights in order to be safer or more secure.”  News is still coming out about this one as the actual situation happened a few months ago.  Teachers going above and beyond what is simply education?  I believe so. Click Here To Read The Story

The last article comes from Union Grove, Wisconsin.  A parent there read through one of their child’s homework papers to find out that conservatism is defined as, “the political belief of preserving traditional moral values by restricting personal freedoms and encouraging prosperity through economic freedom.”  And that the definition of liberalism is, “the political belief of equality and personal freedom for everyone, often changing the current system to increase government protection of civil liberties.”  It was quickly noted that the school, principal and teacher were all given some grace as this wasn’t “usual.”  The teacher didn’t read the entire assignment before passing it out.  Very possible.  I’m willing to give benefit of the doubt.  Everyone was very apologetic.  But it took a parent to notice by reading through their child’s assignments.  It then took a parent to call the school to question the situation.  Things worked out well and everyone’s all the wiser now.  Click Here To Read the Article

What does this lead me to question?  Well, it might just do that …encourage me to question even more.  I once talked with a superintendent of a local school system where my own children attend.  We were having a frank discussion about rights and privileges of parents and students and the community at large with respect to our local school system.  I remember saying to her, “It is my view that, as a parent, I lend my authority and discretion to you as an educator on behalf of my own children.  And at any time I can take that back.”  She completely agreed and said that if more parents knew that, more might be actively involved in their children’s education at home and alongside the schools.  She said, and my wife who is also an educator agrees, too many times parents drop kids off and simply expect the “system” to raise their kids.  We were blessed to have such an educator leading our schools.  Many school systems have the view that they are blessed by the federal government and higher education to teach our children their way, which is always right in their eyes.  That is not a blanket statement as many schools have at heart parent’s rights.  It’s just that stories like these above have me worried that Big Gov is slowly becoming, by way of bloated bureaucracy and non-involved parents, the self appointed expert in all things education.

Some questions to all the administrators and educators listed in these articles would be

  • What do you really see the role of parent to be in the life of their own child?
  • Where does that right come from?
  • And what is the role of the local schools for a parent’s child?
  • Do you , as a teacher or administrator, believe that parents lend you their authority to education their own children?  And do you believe that within given circumstances they can pull that authority back?

Just some thoughts.  Please let me know what you think 🙂

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