Don't go to Parent Teacher Conferences...go to jail?

United States
June 18, 2010 1:30pm CST
A Wayne county prosecutor Kym Worthy is suggesting a countywide proposal to punish -- and even arrest and prosecute -- moms and dads who fail to attend parent-teacher conferences. I know our education system is in trouble. I know parents need to be more involved...but come on...fining or prosecuting parents who don't show up for parent teacher conferences is a bit much don't you think? Tell me what you think? Should it happen? Would it help? HOw would our already clogged court system deal with it? More Nanny state BS.
3 people like this
14 responses
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
18 Jun 10
That is more nanny state bs! What would the charge be I wonder...child neglect...teacher abuse? My youngest daughter's grade school wanted to require parents to volunteer in the classroom a certain number of times each year but that idea was quickly shot down fortunately.
• United States
18 Jun 10
It is stupid. So is requiring parents to volunteer in the classroom. If the parents have time and want to great...but it should not be required. I know here they have rule that if you don't want your kids selling cookies and other stupid fund raising things they have the kids do (going door to door which is dangerous in todays day and age) you have to give the school $200.00 Or if over the course of the school year if your child does not sell $200.00 worth of fund raising items than you have to pay the remaining amount. I am SOOOO glad my kids don't go to public school.
• United States
19 Jun 10
How can they get away with that?! What happens if you don't pay, does your kid fail? That's terrible!
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
19 Jun 10
I have the same questions, lil. How can a school system get away with charging parents like that?
@matersfish (6312)
• United States
18 Jun 10
Oh, so it's important these teachers see the parents at the TEACHERS' leisure? Boy, my opinion changes about teachers constantly. Take a slight pay cut in Jersey because the entire state is about to go under, they picket and parade and complain about making MORE THAN MOST EVERYONE ELSE not hooked up with a government or union (extortion) job. Kids' constant failing is blamed on soceity, homelife, and a trillion other factors OTHER than the teachers. They can do damn near anything to kids and still make their salary in some cases. Now parents MUST attend? No. How about teachers pay home visits if they really need to speak to parents? Phone conference? A special meeting during school hours at the parents' leisure? A bunch of crap here, seems like.
• United States
18 Jun 10
You are right...they blame everyone BUT themselves for the state of our schools. I am not saying they are entirely to blame...but they share in a lot of the blame too. It is crap. Hopefully this proposal goes nowhere fast.
• United States
18 Jun 10
For sure. They don't deserve all of the blame. And in some cases, depending on where you were to look, they might not deserve any of it. But they're all so quick to pass it on and petition for bigger paychecks with bigger benefits. It just makes me wonder if it's really about the kids or if they're like politicians - pretending it's about the people when it's really about their livelihoods and place in American luxury. And with the constant ideological struggles in classrooms, vying for who gets to indoctrinate kids with what worldview instead of real knowledge, I'm about near convinced that teachers and the teachers' union is nothing but a big government pit of SNAFU, where the only real qualification needed to get a cushy life is knowing someone or saying the right things. Should teachers have term limits? Or should politicians have tenure?
• United States
18 Jun 10
Teachers should not even have tenure...much less politicans. Teachers should nto have term limits...all politicans should. I do think it is more about politics than teaching anymore. Which is a shame.
@sender621 (14923)
• United States
18 Jun 10
It is important to our children;s education to have parents and teachers working together. Parents need to attend parent teacher conferences that they are invited to. I think getting arrested and threatened with jail is a little extrema. What good can that possibly do to fuerther the education relationship with your children's teachers?
• United States
18 Jun 10
I think it is a good idea for parents to be involved with their children's education...but it should not be a criminal offense if they are not.
• United States
18 Jun 10
So parents need to come no matter what? A single parent working the night shift barely making the bills and living off drive-thrus needs to take a night off work to show up to a meeting where they basically talk to you in person about the same stuff they could talk about over the phone or through email or even through Twitter? Just because parents don't show up to a haughty, useless conference does not mean they're not involved in their children's lives. I speak from experience here, coming from a home with two loving parents whom neither made a conference for years on end. If they needed/wanted to speak to my parents, our phone number was on record -- along with two emergency numbers.
• United States
21 Jun 10
I agree. It's nuts but some idiot seems to think it is a good idea.
@BlueGoblin (1831)
• United States
18 Jun 10
Teachers never want to talk to parents with students that actually have problems. They only want to talk with parents that have children with good grades. Parents try their best but the teachers are failing. Most teachers give up on certain students and you can't tell me other wise.
• United States
18 Jun 10
I agree with you. Teachers do give up on students. Their theory is I teach it either you get it or you don't...if you don't oh well.
@deebomb (15314)
• United States
18 Jun 10
In my opinion parent teacher conferences are a waist of time. When my kids were in school back in the 70's and 80's I went to these conference but all they ever told me was how great it was to have my kids in their class. when My daughter hit the grade that they diagrammed sentences I ask the English teacher why they needed to learn it so I could explain it to her. He didn't know. I don't think he knew why he was teaching English at all. Then when my granddaughter was in 4th grade her teacher told me her papers were too messy. They had pretty much stopped teaching penmanship by then. I ask her to look at the papers after I made her do them over Just to check for neatness. She didn't have time. For crying out loud not time to look at a paper for neatness and hand it back? I could pretty much keep up on how the kids were doing by the school work papers that were sent home. I think it be terrible to prosecute parents for not going to parent teacher conferences. Thats going way to far. I hated those fund raiser where the kids had to sell things. Usually it was too high priced and or just junk. Not all kids are sales persons. Then they would also send home a not saying not to go door to door.
• United States
18 Jun 10
That is because they want mommy and daddy to take those brocures to work and bug all their co-workers to buy all that junk for the kid's school. I hate those funraisers too. I swear between the two or three the public schools do here every year...then the ones the different school clubs do or the school band...it seems I constantly have kids knocking on my door asking me to buy something for their school. About the only ones I am happy to see on my door step are the girls scouts...love the cookies..LOL Thanks to teachers unions bad teachers are not fired...so the kids do not get a good education.
1 person likes this
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
18 Jun 10
If you want parent participation in their children's education go to vouchers and let the parents choose the school and the school choose the students. Why should a parent attend a conference when most of what they will hear is the need to support the next spending increase so that their child can have a good education. Give the parents the choice and the schools the power to remove students who are disruptive.
• United States
18 Jun 10
I strongly agree with school choice. I know a lot of parents are stuck in the failing public school system because they can not afford anything else. Vouchers would help them get their kids out of failing schools and into good schools. It would also force the public school systems to either clean up their act and actually teach these kids or close. I think competitition is exactly what is needed in our school system. Make the schools have to work to get and keep their students instead of just having them herded in every year. I know where I live most parents are opting out of the public school system. Either doing private schools, religious schools, charter schools, or homeschooling. WHy? Because the schools suck. I have a teach that lives in my neighborhood and she has told me when she has kids she will not put them in the public schools here for anything. My children are not in the public school system.
@Memnon (2171)
5 Jul 10
And there was me thinking it was only the previous UK administration who were control freaks! What about night workers- take a day's holiday, or a sickie? We have governments who cannot enforce dangerous dog legislation, but are willing to criminalise parents! Madness.
@Rollo1 (16638)
• Boston, Massachusetts
20 Jun 10
This is just more of the current trend of young, liberal teachers truly believing that they are substitute parents of your children. I understand that they want to save the world one child at a time, but it should be evident by now that they are failing miserably at it. They are supposed to educate the children, not psycho-analyze them, not become their best friends or their heroes. They should be teaching. They have given up so much of the actual teaching in favor of this sort of social engineering/re-education BS that test scores everywhere in the US have been falling for years. Yes, parents should be involved in school to some extent. They should talk to teachers on a semi-regular basis. But it's much more convenient for teachers to meet with parents than it is for parents to meet with teachers. The teachers are already at work, they aren't going to get in trouble with their employer for taking time out for school meetings. Employers these days are in the power position, as they always are when unemployment is high and workers are easily replaced. It is not uncommon for employers to make it difficult or impossible for working parents to take time off for attending activities involving their children. I once had a supervisor who gave me a warning because my kids were sick too many times in a short period of time. But it's one thing to put your job in jeopardy because your child is vomiting and feverish and quite another to lose the job that supports that child because some teacher wants to have a conference on a particular day and time that your boss expects you at work. I guess I think that the state has been slowly moving towards the concept that parents are not fit to raise children, or at least, not without the state to guide them.
@xParanoiax (6997)
• United States
20 Jun 10
Nanny state's attempt to deal with a real issue, most likely. Sure, something needs to be done...but governments rarely handle any situation where "something has to be done", a heavy hand because the person(s) who do do something either don't truly care or feel panicked. Would it help? Not necessarily. Just because a parent shows up because they don't want the fine, doesn't necessarily mean they care. Besides, some parents might not show up because of work...and in this economy... Besides, our court system CAN'T deal with unimportant stuff like non-violent, non-harmful crimes right now, not really.
• United States
20 Jun 10
Lil, in many areas they are talking about firing teachers because their students aren't learning at the levels they should. So why shouldn't the parents be held responsible for their child's educations? The problem today is that some parents don't want to deal with their children or their eduction, so they leave it up to the schools. That isn't how it should be.
@lelin1123 (15632)
• Puerto Rico
19 Jun 10
This is a totally ridiulous idea. Its like big brother is watching and we better do as we are told or you will go to jail. Give me a break. Its like people are losing their rights left and right. There has to be a better way to get a parent to a parent teacher conference. Maybe if you the parent doesn't show up the child gets a lower grade. There are so many other things the schools can do then try to prosecute parents and tie up the courts more then they are already.
• United States
19 Jun 10
Of course that is just overdoing it. Some parents are really busy trying to make a living for their family and be bothered by teacher-parent conferences. It may help parents keep on an eye on their child more, but really? There is no need to take such extreme measures especially when there are cases where parents having to deal with two shifts just to take care of the poor child. Laws would soon no longer be taken seriously as before and there would be protests against from parents who truly can't make it. Save the country some effort to put that effort elsewhere instead of fining or throw parents in jail.
@cream97 (29146)
• United States
19 Jun 10
Hi, lilwonders456. I think that this is so absurd. What would make her decide upon this. If they do this, then they mind as well, have it to where parents can fine or prosecute teachers that does not help their child to learn well in school. What a dump proposal that Kym Worthy has made..
• United States
19 Jun 10
No, it shouldn't happen, it's the dumbest thing I've ever heard and what teacher would really want to have a parent teacher conference with an angry parent anyway? I can see it now, "Hello, I'm Bobby's mom so start talking and make it quick". You can't force parents to care, which is sad but you can't.