Things your child's school doesn't want you to know...

@miamilady (4924)
United States
April 22, 2009 1:35pm CST
I've been one of those "involved parents" for years. I've been involved enough to have seen things that some parents might not have seen. I'm not going to share those things right now. That isn't the point of this discussion. What I want to ask is this... If someone wrote a book with the title "things your child's school doesn't want you to know", do you think that would be a good thing, or a bad thing. Are there things going on in the school system that we are just better off not knowing about? Do you think we need to know everything? Another question...if I were to ask you to help me write a book with this title, what would you tell me to put in it? Just for the record, no, I'm not writing this book. I don't have the attention span to stick with a project this big, I'm just wondering if other parents realize that there is stuff going on that teachers and administrators aren't "allowed" to tell parents.
7 people like this
23 responses
@sunshine4 (8710)
• United States
22 Apr 09
I guess I don't see what you are trying to get at. I was a teacher and now am a stay at home mom who is also involved in the school. I can't think of anything that our school system does that is so sneaky or wrong that we wouldn't want the parents to know about. Do you mind giving more details?
1 person likes this
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
22 Apr 09
It can go from something as simple as "white lies" that are told to sell more dance tickets...or to encourage involvement in fundraisers to the fact that there are some teachers that have no business teaching, but the administations hands are tied and can't fired those teachers... It can be the fact that some incidents happen in schools that should be reported to the police but perhaps the principal is more concerned about the schools record than about following through in the correct manner. It could be the fact that the schools for committees such as "ESSAC" which has definite guidlines in who should be involved, such as parent representatives, but the fact is, most of these committees are just an illusion or created for appearances but the parents foolish enough to volunteer they're time are quickly stifled or simply ignored. Some schools have rules limiting parent involvement stating that the reason is "safety" when if fact, they just don't want parents to see how often some teachers scream at their students.
1 person likes this
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
22 Apr 09
(sorry, I didn't proofread!)
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Apr 09
problem with this information is that the parents who care already know that this stuff goes on. My mom was the PTA pres when I was in 6th grade, it was a new school and she spent more time at the school than most of the teachers. I think that it would be more benificial to get the word out that parents CAN actually influence their children to do well in school and that teachers need their help to get the kids to not only behave but also care about learning.
@savypat (20248)
• United States
22 Apr 09
I'm sorry this is a bunch of krap, when my child is involved I want to know everything that is going on with the people I have involved in his upbringing. It's bad enough that your child is going to keep certain things from you but I am paying for the educators to do a job that I can't do, that means they are my employees for that job and I am the boss. If I pay or private school or public school I pay and they get paid by me and other parents like me. If you don' think you pay for public school look on your next property bill. If you are a renter your landlord passes this cost on to you. Anyway you look at it you pay.
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
23 Apr 09
I like your thinking on this. I guess the only problem with this is that they work for lots of parents and some parents can be unrealistic. I know that teaching and running schools is not an easy job, but I do think there is a lot of stuff going on that shouldn't be.
@mommyboo (13207)
• United States
26 Apr 09
We DO pay... in taxes! All my kids have gone to public schools. I am not necessarily dissatisfied with the public schools either, although I think as far as elementary schools that they need to teach and practice at school. Yes, my taxes are going to pay for the teachers to teach my kids, not hand them stuff to bring home to me to ask ME how to do it. I haven't been in school in years, I have no idea. As far as private schools, if you go that route, then you pay double. Part of your taxes go to pay for the running of public schools and then you pay extra out of pocket for tuition costs for the private school(s) you send your kids to. Not really worth it in my opinion unless your local public schools are REALLY dismal.
@mommyboo (13207)
• United States
26 Apr 09
OH! And everybody pays! When I was young and single and had an apartment and a car, guess what? My taxes STILL went toward public schools, even though I had no children. My taxes also went toward public transportation, even though I didn't use it. I cannot believe how everything is in the red, with all this money that is being taken unfairly from people thru taxes, people who don't even BENEFIT from the money being funneled away from them. It doesn't quite bother me as much when I know I have kids who use the schools, or if I know that money is going to maintain or widen a road I use regularly, but if it's being used for something I NEVER use, why do I have to pay for it? Grrrr.
@ZephyrSun (7387)
• United States
22 Apr 09
I am also a very involved parent and actually worked for one of the local school boards, in adminstration not in a classroom. I am still very involved and luckily the principal went to school with my husband. I think one thing that uninvolved parents do not know is how much money is spent on getting levies and bonds passed. One of the school boards, not the one that I worked for, had pizza parties for parents and students to get them to vote yes on a levy.
1 person likes this
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
22 Apr 09
Thanks for sharing that. I've also wondered how much money or time is spent on all the "meetings" that administrators go to each year. I'm sure some of these meetings have a purpose, but I'm also certain that there is a lot of time and money wasted on them.
1 person likes this
@ZephyrSun (7387)
• United States
23 Apr 09
Well the board that I worked for their treasurer was extremely strict about following the IRS rules. But, I know that my direct boss allowed his "pets" to waste an awful lot and then he just had them cover it up.
@mommyboo (13207)
• United States
26 Apr 09
That makes me angry. When I volunteered at the middle school my older kids attended back when I was pregnant with my 5 year old, one of the teachers admitted to me that she only got a certain amount of paper per month or per quarter, and once she ran out, she had two choices, to buy the paper out of her own pocket or to use overheads and force the kids to copy everything down themselves on notebook paper. She said that because many of the kids would feel it was a waste and then not take all the notes, a lot of their grades would drop significantly because they did not have the notes to study with, so she usually supplemented her paper supply out of her own pocket. It was kind of sad. This was also about 6 years ago and now the school budgets are even WORSE. I think they need to cut out ALL administrative costs. Fire administrative staff BEFORE laying off teachers, cut out stupid expenditures like anything designed to get levies or bonds passed, extra groundskeepers or janitors, ANYTHING other than salaries for actual TEACHERS, money for things related to educational expenses like up to date textbooks, handouts, supplies for the kids to use in class, etc. I also think it's okay to use for a PE department and for art supplies or toward a music department, but every single expenditure should ONLY go toward making a better educational environment for the kids. NONE of the money should ever go into the greedy pockets of any adult who works in the school system. EVER.
@James72 (26832)
• Australia
23 Apr 09
I'd be wanting to know when we can start! Seriously. Parents entrust their children to the school system for a significant period of their life. Teacher's and the "system" play a significant role in shaping our youth in parallel. If there is ANYTHING that's swept under the carpet that's negatively impacting these kids, then people deserve to know about it.
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Apr 09
Count me in!I'll do any thing to help.I have a seven year old little girl and before we move she was making A+ and doing 5th grade work.But now she bring d and f home. I don't know what is going on.So as i said ,count me in! =
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Apr 09
I think parents should know it all. The good, the bad and the ugly. That way they can help to improve the bad and get rid of ugly. They can also make an informed decision about wether or not they want that child in that school. When it comes to our children no one has a right keep secrets from us. Especially when it is something that could harm or have a negative effect on the children.
1 person likes this
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
23 Apr 09
"When it comes to our children no one has a right keep secrets from us" I agree with that statement completely.
• Canada
22 Apr 09
Well from my point of view, since I am 17, I don't think it would be a good idea to have a book like this. But of course if I were a parent, I would want to know everything about my child and what to look for, so in that case it would be a very good idea. But I don't think a parent could just read a book and completely know everything going on with their son or daughter. My mom knows alot about me and what I have done, but only to some extent. She knows halves of the stories, and doesn't realize the depth to alot of the stuff I have told her or that she has found out. If I were to help you write this book, I honestly don't know what I would put it in. I guess that chances are, as much as you think you know about your child, there is always going to be something you don't know. Weither it be a specific event in their lives, a feeling they have about something/someone, or that only half of the story has been told.
1 person likes this
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
22 Apr 09
"chances are, as much as you think you know about your child, there is always going to be something you don't know. Weither it be a specific event in their lives, a feeling they have about something/someone, or that only half of the story has been told" That's so true. It was true when I was a teen and I'm sure it's just as true today. I'm always amazed the some people don't get that.
1 person likes this
@Darkwing (21590)
24 Apr 09
I don't think we have this problem between parents and teachers in this country, as parents are often called to discuss when their child is behaving oddly. I can't imagine the system working where there's no liason. How on earth do teachers and adminstrators have the right to keep anything from a child's parents. That, in my book, is totally out of order! Brightest Blessings.
@GAUCI123 (1042)
• Malta
22 Apr 09
I feel that parents need to know everything regarding the education of their children. It is their right to know what is happening at thier schools and what effects have on children.
1 person likes this
@DavidReedy (2411)
• United States
11 Aug 09
Hmm, interesting topic. Well, where to begin--the pull on the school system to "soften", fluff, and outright minimize education in order to promote p.c. agendas on our children?--or the polar opposite that happens from time to time, religious zealots twisting and thwarting scientific education in order to demonize evolution and advocate completely unscientific agendas? The bullying that they don't want us to know about in some cases? The slow indoctrination of our children that they really don't have privacy (as a right) and that it's their duty to snitch? There's a lot of ground to cover--but if one were to research this topic, I'd suggest googling "Reece committee + Dodd + video" or to look up the so-called Reece Committee Report itself:Hearings Before the Special Committee to Investigate Tax-Exempt Foundations and Comparable Organizations, House of Representatives, Eighty-Third Congress, Second Session on H. Res. 217, Part 1, Pages 1-943. (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1954) And to read Charlotte Iserbyt's indictment of the educational system "The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America".
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
14 Aug 09
How appropriate that you brought this discussion back just as we are heading "back to school". My daughter begins on Monday and my son starts a week after. I have found myself struggling with deciding how much I want to be "involved" and how much I want to pursue in regard to some of the struggles I went through with my son last year... I will do some "googling" as you suggested. Thanks for the reply.
• United States
16 Aug 09
Not a problem, always very interested in the state of our educational sytem. Good luck on your research, but I'll warn you what you're going to learn re: that particular topic I suggested may just blow your mind. dr...
@tammytwo (4305)
• United States
23 Apr 09
Some things are better left unsaid. I speak from experience when I say this. I have served on the city council and have seen firsthand what some people do with information that is provided to them. They twist it and turn it into anything negative that they can. There is always a group of people in every community that are never happy unless they are causing hate and discontent. In our town we now have seven of those people on our council and every one of them is out to prove someone is doing something wrong (even if they are not). In the rare instance that vital information is being kept from the parents if a person were to write a book they better hope they have no children in school. Like it or not the child would be treated unfairly due to the parent's actions.
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
23 Apr 09
Thanks for your post. I know that some of the reasons you stated are why some things are not made public. I'm not sure I agree with it entirely, but I do understand it. There do tend to be people who overreact or blow things out of proportion. I think sometimes it may be a case of choosing the lesser of two evils.
• Australia
26 Apr 09
I'm not as tolerant as you, Miami. To me this post is a plea not to rock the boat, and that is simply stupid in my view of things. The boat needs to be rocked regularly, if only to make sure it is still safe to sail. Lash
@makingpots (11928)
• United States
23 Apr 09
What you are talking about here is the very reason that all parents should be extremely involved in their childs education. I know that many parents work full time and don't feel they have the extra time. As an ex-teacher I will just say that the best room mom I ever had was a woman who worked full time and had 3 kids. She was committed to being an involved parent.
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
23 Apr 09
I know that there are some working parents that somehow manage to make the time to also be involved in their children's school, but I think these folks are the exception rather than the rule. Sometimes it really is just "too much" for some parents. Of course there are factors in everyone's lifes other than "work" that have to be taken into consideration.
@winterose (39932)
• Canada
23 Apr 09
I would tell you it had the makings of a best seller but you would need to do a lot of research and make sure you had proof to back up everything you said or you could be sued.
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
23 Apr 09
"you would need to do a lot of research and make sure you had proof to back up everything you said or you could be sued" Which is why i'm not doing it. It's just not in my nature to be that thorough!
@tlb0822 (1414)
• United States
23 Apr 09
I feel as parents we are entitled to know everything that happens with our child at school. The good the bad whatever it may be. I wouldn't send my child to a school that I didn't trust, and I certainly don't want to be kept in the dark about things. My daughter isn't in school yet, but I am going to be very cautious with her in school. My boss' grandson actually had a tick in him at school and the school nurse pulled it out, and never contacted him letting them know. When the boy came home he told my boss. Well it ended up that the boy got an infection in the spot where the tick came from. It was really upsetting. Parents have the right to know everything that goes on with their child. Schools should always be up front in every situations.
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
23 Apr 09
"I wouldn't send my child to a school that I didn't trust" Then, you will need to live in a community with a great public school or save up to afford private school education. This is assuming you live in the US (i didn't check your profile). For public schools you either send your child to the school in your district, you apply for a magnet school or charter school and hope that your child is accepted or you lie and falsify documents and use a fake address and risk getting in trouble. Their may be other options, but I can't think of them now. Well, there are some schools that are rated so poorly that parents have the option to send their student to a different school under the "no child left behind" policy, but the school has to be REALLY REALLY bad. Just "bad" won't qualify you to change your child's school. Anyone is welcome to correct anything that I'm mistaken on here, but I think I've got it right.
• Canada
23 Apr 09
Theseare OUR CHILDREN, not theirs, OURS!!!! A friend of mine on another site was telling me about some trouble that her kid got into because the idiots in charge did not tell her or her husband the entire story. School adults should have to report back to parents like court stenographers should have to take notes. Parents need to know EVERYTHING!!!! If someone wrote that book it would be a very good thing. It would teach the meeker parents how to fight the schools. My friend is not a meek lady, and she's handing her situation perfectly, but not everyone has her strength.
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
23 Apr 09
"It would teach the meeker parents how to fight the schools. My friend is not a meek lady, and she's handing her situation perfectly, but not everyone has her strength." You're right. I know from first hand experience that it takes a lot of conviction to stand up for your child when the system isn't doing right by him or her.
@maximax8 (27049)
26 Apr 09
I am a primary school teacher and so I know some things go on the school doesn't wish the parents to know. Parents know about testing but they have no idea of all the paperwork being completed. I was teaching Year 1 and Year 2, children aged 5 to 7 years old. I was given a form to say what result each child would get in exams when they are 11 years old. I had a class of children and each child was issued with one pencil that was meant to last one academic year. I had to buy pencils out of my own money. Parents don't know about what is said at meetings after school. A new head teacher starting can mean many changes over of short space of time, some great and others that are pointless.
@carolscash (9504)
• United States
26 Apr 09
Well, I would think that it would be a best seller. I would love to see a book like this written as there are things that happen in schools everyday that no one knows about as far as the parents go. I home school my children for that very reason- I don't like what goes on with the kids that we don't know about. I know of several cases around her that the students are being molested by teachers. What a shame! It would never have been told if the police were not involved. I think the teachers background should be open to all parents.
@mommyboo (13207)
• United States
26 Apr 09
Well... because of that 'no child left behind' act, most of the schools teach to the test, meaning they spend a disproportionate amount of time teaching kids material which is on these state standards tests in order to get the biggest percentage of their student body to pass these tests when they are given. This means the school gets a better rating and more money. Now the info on these state standard tests have absolutely nothing to do with what most of us want and wish our kids would learn in school, things that are valuable and actually do them some good toward functioning in real life situations. I also believe (although I do not have real proof of this) that the schools send home a bunch of crap busywork for their YOUNGEST students, expecting them to do this stuff at home INSTEAD of hiring a few additional teachers and aides for kindergarten and first grade to ensure a better student/teacher ratio and thus more individualized learning for the youngest kids. This material should be taught, covered, and practiced AT SCHOOL. I don't think that matters as much after 2nd or 3rd grade after most if not all of the kids can read what they need to to facilitate learning other subjects, but I feel it is unfair to send home a big pile of stuff for a FIVE year old and then act like their parents should be the teachers. I know I did not have homework in elementary school and my mother was not a teacher. I did not go to college nor get certified to teach school, that is why public schools exist. I don't like how they are passing the buck and claiming it's because of 'budget cuts'. If they want to give me free teaching credentials so I do not have to attend college for 5 years, they can be my guest, then I will confidently homeschool my daughter. Until then, the SCHOOL has the responsibility to teach these state standards which THEY require her to know. I am her MOM, not her TEACHER. I may not care if she knows the capital of Peru, so why would I spend 2 weeks teaching her about it? Right, I'm not going to. Some schools MAY claim that they are 'open door' and that parents can come into the classroom and observe at any time, but some of them likely get irritated if a parent actually does this. I think if they have a policy and you act within your rights, they have NO right to get mad at you, and if they do, you should have the right to complain, file a grievance, etc. I know if I run into this with my daughter's school, they will not like me because I'll be there all the time, ESPECIALLY when they aren't expecting me. In general terms, I think anything that people discover that the school is trying to squelch or hide is something that should be shared with ALL OTHER PARENTS you know, as fast and as loudly as possible. These are our kids going to these schools, we have the right to know and the right to take action against anything we don't like. Knowledge is power and anything bad needs to be removed from the table asap or kids could suffer because of it, even if the KIDS don't realize it.
@MsTickle (24752)
• Australia
25 Apr 09
It's a bit hard to comment without knowing some of the things that you are talking about. I can't imagine what you are maybe referring to. If there are things going on in the school system then I think parents and the authorities should know about it. Why keep secrets? Health issues? That's a bad move. Like I said...I can't think what you are referring to so I'm groping in the dark, so to speak.
• United States
23 Apr 09
I have three school aged children. I feel the more information a parent can get about their child's school or the school system in general is of great benefit. I have been very involved with my children's educations and do realize there are many things going on behind the scenes that parents are not made aware of. I believe parents are entitled to know the things going on in our schools, how else will we help our children cope when these things affect them? I think a book of this type would be welcomed by many a concerned, involved parent. It is a shame that our public schools are not truly "public" at all.
@arvvaz89 (85)
• Sweden
23 Apr 09
I am sure that there is stuff going on that they don't tell us. But yeah i think it is a good thing if someone wrote a book like that because we have the right to know if it's something that is bad for our kids.