22 October 2010

Garbage Goes in Garbage Can

I can't stress that enough, people. Don't just throw it out the window.

Ok, now that we have that mini-parenting lesson out of the way, let's "start a conversation" about jailing parents for missing teacher conferences! Good common sense says that alll "good" parents show up for these conferences. And it's not harsh to give parents criminal records for being uninvolved at school. It's all about protecting our children and helping parents be the best moms and dads they can be. In fact, the local prosecutor would team with social services agencies to make sure that these parents have "resources" so that they can do a better job after they serve their time. Isn't that nice?

Government really *does* care better than we can for our children. And for those *very few* of you out there who are doing a "good" job without help from the sheriff's office, I'm sure you'd be ok with laws like this because they won't affect you. Just like you'd have no problem with the police searching through your house and your car without a warrant if you have nothing to hide. And if this jailtime proposal saves only ONE child from a mediocre education, it would be worth it. Because children are important.

I've heard this sort of "conversation" before in regard to "welfare checks" on the children who are homeschooled as well. Rather than assuming that a parent is a good ENOUGH parent not to be prosecuted and/or lose his children, we should start from the assumption that there ARE bad parents out there. I mean, that IS a true statement. There are. Bad parents. Out there. And egads, some of them homeschool!

So every year or so, homeschoolers ought to submit something official certifying that they've been checked out by a government-approved agency and are ok enough parents to have charge of their children until the next reporting season. Child abuse is no small thing, and if it saves just ONE child from abuse or neglect, it would be worth it. Because children are important.

I'm musing on this idea, and I have to tell you that I'm not sure why we'd only do this annually, though. I'm thinking quarterly is still better. If it saves just ONE child, it would be worth it. Because children are important, and there ARE bad parents out there. I would happily submit to having my home investigated every quarter! And I think a social worker should ensure my children are not watching "educational television" during their homeschooling hours via spot checks! Can't be too careful.

Yes. I would be only too happy to give up all my rights AND vote against those of my neighbours if it would save only one child. We all know that children are never abused in state-approved foster care, so the ends justify the means.

Seriously... Is this even a "conversation" we should be having?

Did it ever occur to anyone that some parents miss those parent-teacher conferences not because they don't care, but because the meetings are hard to make and/or are patronizing and convey no real new information about their child's progress? Or did it ever occur to anyone that maybe some parents are homeschooling because the abuse is IN THE SCHOOL? Did it?

And did any of these people actually ask the teachers whether they really want to have these "resources" funnelled away from the classroom? The money for these programs comes from somewhere, you know.

Darren, a public high school math teacher, wrote that parents who are only there for conferences because they've been threatened with prison are JUST the sort he wants to deal with. Methinks he was a weeee mite sarcastic.

I s'pose there are crappy parents everywhere, but I think we should save the big guns in our arsenal for clear-cut abuse cases. In my opinion, we should err on the side of keeping children with their parents while we recognize that there ARE very bad parents out there. And the "crimes" of the very bad parents aren't limited to missing conferences. For crying out loud...

8 comments:

  1. Man, that is scary. I have conferences next week. I guess I'd better make sure I attend the 15 min with the teacher or I'll look bad. It's not that I don't want to, but like you said, I don't learn a lot from these meetings. They basically tell me what I already know through report cards and work that comes back graded.

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  2. Now, on the flip side- I used to think conferences were the biggest darn joke about public school! Granted, my kids were pulled after my son reached third grade....sitting at a miniature table in a teeny chair to have the teacher 'Vanna White' over a generalized report card was a freaking waste of my time. I wasn't told what my child had learned, but whether or not their sharing skills were 'satisfactory' or not. I didn't hear what science had been covered, or if my son seemed interested or bored (he was very bored) instead I heard how well he did keeping his cubby orderly, and that his library books were always returned on time with the sign out cards still in the pockets.No kidding....I senbt them back with him on library day- I already knew that!! In the meantime, I had driven for a half hour after arranging for a sitter for the baby, through snow/sleet/hail whatever the weather may be for ten minutes of nonsense. (And they had the gall to send notices with the appointments saying to arrange for childcare) Because it would have been distracting to hear about his cooperativeness in the lunch line with a two year old in the room?

    There are some bad parents. Sure. But do we all need to be policed and punished in order to figure out who and where those baddies are?? Grease the squeaky wheel, not the windows, the doors, the hood, the bumper.....

    Happy weekend Mrs. C. ;)

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  3. Good thoughts, Mrs. C. No, great thoughts. Where is the line to be drawn in all of this?

    The conversation continues...

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  4. a) What about NEAR the trashcan, is that good enough?

    b) Forget yearly or quarterly - what we really need to do is install a monitor in the actual household, frowning and scribbling in a notebook. Your taxes might go up a teeeeny bit, but if it saves even one....

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  5. Now, now Mrs C. You know we need these checks so that when the kids who have a red alert on their card [meaning they're at risk] die in questionable circumstances the dept., can point to its overloaded work load as an excuse for not monitoring them better.

    Seriously, where is simple common sense?

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  6. Virginia, this "conversation" is really some prosecutor in Detroit. I'm sure that they don't have real crimes for the prosecutor to work on that she has time to do all this rallying of representatives because she's so concerned. I think someone stole a cow back in 1880, but aside from that we all know that no crime happens in the Detroit area.

    So I wouldn't worry too much about missing a conference. Yet.

    Blondee, not to sound sexist but it sounds like they're not only judging your son based on how he does socially, but they picked "female" traits to critique? Organization, neatness, that sort of thing... not gung-ho adventurism, mathematical ability or creative uses of the rubber band in class. (Stereotype of me, maybe... but it just sounds so female-only, that list you gave. At least at that age.)

    Terry, thank you. I find it's a conversation that we shouldn't have to have, but you and I are going round and round on variations of it just the same. God bless. :)

    Deb, I got the "Garbage" quote from the Simpsons. They had to take a parenting class and that was one of the key points the speaker went over. (He can't stress that enough.)

    Ganeida, as snarky as I've been in my post, I AM worried that all this focusing on everyone's clothing, food and education choices is going to draw resources away from the children who are genuinely, horribly, undeniably being abused. From a financial as well as COMPASSION standpoint, we really need to target those resources better. :(

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  8. Last comment was a sad one... please pray for M and her homeschooling situation. I won't write more in case she deleted her comment because she was scared. M, I hope you are doing ok now. God bless you... I'm so sorry for what you're going through.

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Non-troll comments always welcome! :)