Should Parents Be Informed Or Have A Say In What Their Children Learn In School?
As I write this post, I am also busy packing and getting ready to relocate out of New England at the end of August. I will produce a video blog post for August. However, September and possibly October will be written posts only since it will take me time to set up my audio/visual studio in my new home. Whenever anyone leaves the area, they grew up in and raised their children. It comes with excitement for the new adventure as well as some sadness. My three children live in two different states. It will be great to come back to the New England area to visit and have them come to visit me. The cycle of life in today's society is that many families are separated in different areas for many reasons. I raised my children to believe in following their dreams and do what is best for them. I am very close to my children, and we and Facetime regularly. However, no parent should teach things to their children that they themselves will not follow. I am blessed to have three wonderful children that support me in my decision.
Tonight's topic is a raging controversial topic in today's educational setting. Moreso in the earlier to mid-years of a child's education. Although, in my opinion, this topic should not be limited to age or grade. For what it costs to send even one child to college or a private school, and let's not forget it's your tax dollars that support and pay for public school, you must ask yourself what rights as a parent do you have? Or, do you have any at all? Before I continue in the interest of full transparency, this is not a topic based on science, data, or facts. It is a highly controversial topic based on opinion, and more importantly, common sense. The lawsuits are starting to pile up all over the country by parents that have had enough of what some schools systems and teachers unions making provocative and sexually suggestive reading mandatory at ages parents feel is too young for our youth to understand and process. Now, couple this with the "Critical Race Theory " being taught in schools.
CRITICAL RACE THEORY:
Here is a link to an article explaining exactly what it is. INDY STAR. Believe it or not, Critical Race Theory has slightly different meanings between how it is taught in schools, how it applies to criminology, and methodology. CRT has five components. (courtesy of Wikipedia) While critical race theorists do not all share the same beliefs, the basic tenets of CRT include that racism and disparate racial outcomes result from complex, changing, and often subtle social and institutional dynamics rather than explicit and intentional prejudices on the part of individuals.
Here is a link to a lengthy article by Nicolas Daniel Harlep, M.S.E.D. from the University of Wisconsin. LINK
Now that we have the basics out of the way let's get down to the topic. At this time, it revolves around the Critical Race Theory. The question in this topic applies to anything our children learn in school.
TO THE POINT:
I said earlier that this topic is not science-based or based on facts and data. However, some things are, in fact, true.
College isn't free - Most are paying tuition,
Private Schools are not free - Most are paying tuition,
Public Schools are not free - OUR TAX DOLLARS PAY FOR IT.
Your city or state is obligated by law to provide education to our youth. You DO NOT get a tax break if you send your child to a private school. However, in my opinion, if someone is paying taxes on a service they are not using, they should receive a tax credit, especially after their children are grown and no longer attending public schools. With that said, we all know it does not work that way.
If it did, then those whose children attended public schools would be paying taxes they could never afford to pay. Here is an interesting thought. Isn't that what happens in college? If any of my children were not attending college, I do not have to contribute to any college. Those attending have to pay their own way. Therefore, what is right and what is wrong? Look, we all know the reasoning behind it. By spreading the cost over the entire taxpayer base, it keeps the mil rate down for those towns. However, think about it. Is it fair to those who do not have children to have to share in that cost? That's up to you to decide.
THERE ARE MANY ASPECTS TO LEARNING:
Over a child's time in school and their educational process, many things occur. It is not a matter of only learning didactic materials. As our children grow, they also learn social skills, and they develop not only physically but also mentally and emotionally. Yes, as parents, we all MUST contribute to that learning process, but our educators, school boards, and administrators play an important role in that process. Actually, parents have relied on that participation for decades. We place our trust in the education system. I think everyone would agree that our children knowing and understanding all aspects of our history is important. Principles such as diversity, respect, racial equality, and equality, in general, are important and, I believe, are critical areas that require focusing. Let's face it. Children are not born racists. They learn by what they see, what they hear, and what they experience, and that always starts at home, long before they are of school age.
All these are developmental stages our children experience as they enter and proceed through the educational system. Is it safe to say, and is it safe to assume that everyone would agree that every board of education and every teacher has a certain degree of responsibility in these areas? Of course, they do.
Our children's overall development depends on it. But where is it written that any educator or board of education can place things that could affect that development in their curriculum without first consulting those who are also important? The parents. And when asked or challenged about something they do, they feel they do not have an obligation to answer or explain their actions. You may consider my next comment to be old-school thinking, but when you stay up with them all night when they are sick, put the clothes they wear on their backs and the food on the table they eat, as well as deal with the issues and problems they face in life as they grow up. I guess that would make you their parents, and you could make these decisions. Until that time, it is this writers opinion that,
NO EDUCATOR OR BOARD OF EDUCATION HAS THE RIGHT TO ADD ANYTHING OTHER THAN WHAT IS REQUIRED BY LAW AND SET EDUCATIONAL STANDARDS WITHOUT FIRSWT HOLDING A PUBLIC HEARING AND LISTENING TO THE PARENTS. THEY FURTHER HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO ANSWER TO THE PARENTS WHO ARE PAYING THE BILL FOR THIS EDUCATION, AS WELL AS A MORAL OBLIGATION TO SPEAK TO THE PARENTS AND ADDRESS PARENTAL CONCERNS.
In your opinion, do teacher's unions have the right to dictate every aspect of educational standards, especially since, as sad as it is, these standards are often politically motivated.
LET'S BE CLEAR:
I am not bashing educators or administrators. In general, they do a great job, and as an educator for over 22 years, I know many educators and administrators that do NOT agree with these principles or, at times, what I like to call tactics. However, once a standard is set as to what history will be taught, how it will be taught, and what will be left out, or how the blame will be dispersed, how, at any level, can we call that proper education? And if we leave the parents out of the process, can we call that proper parental involvement in a child's education?
I place the blame on some of this on the parents. One parent alone cannot take on the two largest teaching unions in the country. This requires the parents of every child in school to speak out. I am probably older than some and younger than others, but I have learned one thing in my years of living on this earth. As a society, we never stick together. YEt, everyone bitches. Life is busy. I get it. Decades ago, families were on income. That increased to two incomes. Now, in many cases, it's 2 1/2 because one or the other is working a part-time job along with their full-time job. Therefore, people sit back and take what is done to them or given to them without question, when the fact is, if PROPERLY done, we are the citizens and have the control. Yet, we choose not to exercise it. Or should I say exercise it properly? I say that because the violent protests I have seen over the past many years are totally unacceptable. Simply put, grown adults should never act that way. However, when grown adults do not take part in things properly, there will be groups that will do it for them, and we have all seen the results of that.
To answer the question, Should Parents Be Informed Or Have A Say In What Their Children Learn In School? The answer is, without a doubt, at least in my mind, YES! Anything less could be viewed as a form of dictatorship from that particular leadership. EVERY PARENT should have the right to be part of the decision-making process that is best for their child when it comes to their child's education. We have taken the Pledge of Allegiance out of schools. We have taken religion out of schools. Frankly, I believe that religion does not belong in school because if a school cannot accommodate every religious belief, it is not fair to others. This is why many religions have their own schools, and parents can choose to send their children there if they want their religious beliefs to be part of their child's learning experience.
As for the Pledge Alliance, that should have never been removed from the school system. This is the country we live in and the country we educate our children. In this case, because we are honoring our country, this country, the country that each of our schools is in, we do not have any obligation to state anything from another country. These are the Olympics, and no one won a medal. History has taught us that when we as a society honored and took pride in our flag and did not allow the burning of our flag, people, even our youth, had a stronger love for our nation. Why? Because they were taught that at home and in school. Part of the last sentence of the Pledge Allegiance;
WITH LIBERTY, AND JUSTICE, FOR ALL.
Doesn't that represent diversity, freedom, and equality? Isn't that what this country stands for and what we want to teach our children? Yet, we remove something so important from our schools. The message. The message of what this nation stands for. What our society should stand for. I will leave you all with this question.
ARE WE ALLOWING THINGS TO GO TOO FAR?
You can judge that for yourself.
Stay safe and be well. Thank you.
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