The schools must think we are..... Are you stupid?: The schools must think we are.....

By spunky on Tuesday, October 22, 2002 - 10:18 am:

    This "It takes a village to raise a child" concept has gotten way out of hand.
    Hayley has only been in school for what, 8 weeks so far this year? And already they have managed to totally piss me off.

    First off, they sent a "contract" that the school, the children and the parents are to sign.
    It said the kids were responsible for doing their assigned work, and follow the rules. The Schools part of it is that they will try to provide the best education and environment. The parents portion says we will abide by the schools rules and ensure our children have what they need to do thier school work and get enough sleep and make sure the kids are able to be on time with little to no absenses, and we support the school.

    Well, here is my problem. I don't need to be told to make sure my child gets enough sleep and completes here homework and have her supplies she needs and all that crap, I am her parent and I can do these things without signing any contract.
    Further, I am not entirely sure (and becoming less and less convinced everyday) that I support the school in all it's decisions and policies.
    So I refused to sign it. I told Hayley to tell her teacher to call us if she has a problem. Instead, they made her stay inside for recess every day until it was signed. I signed the damn thing the first night they did this to her, but wrote on the contract I did not appreciate being told how to raise my child.

    Then there was last week. Hayley came home singing songs from West Side Story.
    We are trying to encourage an interest in theatrical arts (like there is much encouragement needed). We have a copy of West Side Story at home. We have purposely not let Hayley watch it, since she is only eight we felt she would not understand the social class conotations and the gang element that was in the story. But her music class decided to show it as part of some project they are working on. We did not receive any prior notice or request for concent to allow our daughter to view this program with the issues it deals with. We have not figured out what to do about this, but we are not happy. When Hayley heard us talking to each other about it, she said, rather shyly, that the teacher has said on more then one occasion, that she does not care what parents think or say.
    So, then they also start a anti-drug campaign and take class time to have children draw pictures and come up with slogans about why drugs are bad.
    They also put a plastic wrist band around her wrist and tell her she is not allowed to take it off the entire week, or she would loose recess.
    Again, I think drug education should be up to the parents, the school should concentrate on academeics and leave moral and personal decision discussion at home, where it belongs.

    Erin cut the wrist band off.

    We will see what happens.

By Spider on Tuesday, October 22, 2002 - 10:30 am:

    What was the wrist band for?

By spunky on Tuesday, October 22, 2002 - 10:44 am:

    It was a red one that said "Be smart, Don't Start". It was for the anti-drug propoganda campaign

By J on Tuesday, October 22, 2002 - 11:06 am:

    Spunky out here we have had a drug awareness program implemented in our elementary schools for at least 18 years that I know of it's called D.A.R.E and involves a police officer on campus and if you did that here the city cops would be looking at you,it's that bad. I'll look for some links.

By kazoo on Tuesday, October 22, 2002 - 11:09 am:

    The contract, as stupid as it sounds, just sounds like an attempt to open up dialogue between parents and teachers. People go on and on about how parents should be more invested in their children's education but how does one legislate or monitor that? And schools know that it doesn't what are they supposed to do? This just seems like an attempt to get the idea out there so that there is some common understanding so that when faced with a specific problem one can try to avoid, or at least minimize finger pointing and blaming the other one for "not doing their job."

    Now, do I think that this is a good idea or that it will work...not really.

By kazoo on Tuesday, October 22, 2002 - 11:22 am:

    Don't get me started on D.A.R.E.

    This is separate because I don't think this guy was from D.A.R.E. but he may have been...who can say? Anyway, when I worked at camp we had some guy come in to talk to kids about drugs and alcohol. I had no idea what this guy's credentials was but he LIED, or at least he presented medically incorrect information.

    I wouldn't disapprove of giving high school kids sound pharmacological information on recreational drugs and their effects, but as far as I can tell, these elementary school drug programs are propaganda and little more.

By J on Tuesday, October 22, 2002 - 11:26 am:

By spunky on Tuesday, October 22, 2002 - 11:28 am:

    Now, I do know there are parents out there that will sign it without reading it and just want their kids to leave them alone.
    That contract will have the effect I think it has had on us "who do you think you are telling me how to raise my child" for the parents that take an honest interest in their children's education and future. It will have no effect on the parents who could give a rip.
    Also, if our child misses more then 10 days in a school year, regardless of reason, the parents get charged with a crime.
    I also realize that the drug problem at school is going to get worse and has been.
    That does not justify telling the children to tell their parents they are not allowed to take the wrist band off. Schools should not circumvent Parental authority.

By spunky on Tuesday, October 22, 2002 - 11:32 am:

    That's funny that the dare website is commerical instead of org or edu or gov.

    Again, I have to refer to 1984.
    This is an inroad to molding your thought pattern.
    In 1984, they have a "Junior Anti Sex League".
    These kids wore red scarfs around their waistes to signifuu thier pledge to refrain from sex, they hung up anti-sex posters, had anti-sex rallies, etc etc etc.

    And this was written in 1948.

By kazoo on Tuesday, October 22, 2002 - 11:58 am:

    I think you should replace her wristband with one that says VOTE FOR J or WHAT WOULD SPUNKEM DO? That'll learn them administrators.

By spunky on Tuesday, October 22, 2002 - 12:01 pm:

    How about "Use my tax money to teach my child science, reading, math, history, english, and let me handle the rest"...

By patrick on Tuesday, October 22, 2002 - 12:05 pm:

    you have to realize that schools have had to pick up the slack where many parents have left off these days.

    while these measures do not necessarily apply to you, realize they apply to more children in the school than you realize.

    this is part of the reason my mother-in-law retired early. she got tired of trying to deal with dumbass redneck, lethargic parents and the subsequent failures their children were enduring because of their piss poor homelife.

    The 'contract' they sent home is a direct result of this. Its not a big deal. Holding Hayley from recess because of your desire not to sign it, is a problem and i would have been on the phone to that teacher asap.

    If the anti-drug propaganda bothers you, pull your kid from it and verbalize your problem with the curriculum to the staff insisiting that you support valuable drug information and indepth info on the (negative) effects of drugs, you do not support misinformation, scare tactics and silly wristband campaigns.

    Schools have been forced to circumvent parental authrotic because, generally speaking parents have let go of their authority. Ask any teaching professional who has been at it for 20 years and they'll tell you how fucked up its become and home much teachers have had to play the roll of parent and teacher.

By spunky on Tuesday, October 22, 2002 - 12:13 pm:

    I understand that. I would not be a teacher for any pay in the world.
    But when a parent voices concerns or disapproval, and the teacher says to the child that they do not care, then we have a huge problem.

    I think kids the whole system needs an overhaul.
    Get the kids who do not want to be there (once they are old enough to go through a process of having pros and cons of education throughly explained to them) out of the classes and into something that will prepare them for a fry cook or janitorial position, and concentrate on the kids that want to be there, to help them, with the cooperation of the parents, to develop an education path that will prepare them for college and degree related courses.
    While most freshmen in college still have no idea what they want to major in, this process of early career identification has been proven successful in other countries.

    Again, this would be why I would support vouchers so I could send my children to a specialized school...

By Andrew on Tuesday, October 22, 2002 - 12:17 pm:

    Just because the DARE website doesn't have a gov suffix doesn't mean it can't deposit tracking software in your PC. Be careful.
    DARE is bad news. Fortunately, due to budget cuts, the schools in my county have had to drop the police officers who "teach" the kids about drugs. Hopefully, the teachers who'll replace them will actually teach truth and not brainwashing propaganda. But we'll see.
    Overall, as Frank Zappa wrote, public schools seem to have this unwritten "Search & Destroy" program to seek out and eliminate any opportunity for creativity, logical thought and other signs of intelligence. It seems our leaders want a populace that believes,as Bill Hicks said, "You are free to do as we tell you! You are free to do as we tell you!"
    If you can't get your kid(s) out of DARE, you'll have to do your homework and counter their bad science with facts. Good luck.

By semillama on Tuesday, October 22, 2002 - 12:29 pm:

    If the school wants to encourage dialogue
    with parents, sounds like the picked a good
    way to engage spunky. If you can, don't wait for
    a PTA meeting and go give 'em hell now.

By patrick on Tuesday, October 22, 2002 - 12:34 pm:

    "But when a parent voices concerns or disapproval, and the teacher says to the child that they do not care,"

    did i miss something? did you actually speak to someone at the school about the drug program, West Side Story or the contract?

By spunky on Tuesday, October 22, 2002 - 12:50 pm:

    We have not spoken with anyone at the school about these particular issues YET.
    I did write on the contract that I did not need this thing to tell me how to raise my kid, and we have been communicating with her teacher on a daily basis via the spiral they issued to the students that the parents read and sign everynight. It has homework assignments and teachers comments and parents comments in it...

    We are not just doing nothing, but we are gathering material for an all out session verses bitching about every little thing.

By spunky on Tuesday, October 22, 2002 - 12:50 pm:

    And Hayley has been told to tell the teacher to call us if she had any questions, and that was the response she got.

By spunky on Tuesday, October 22, 2002 - 12:58 pm:

    My beef goes deeper then just the local schools (ew, that painted a nasty mental image)...

    Hayley was watching some thing on Nick or maybe PBS,, PB&j Otter I think...
    Anyway, and in the story the father owns a grocery store. He is planning on buying a new fishing rod for a fishing tournament next weekend.
    A customer calls and places a order of groceries to be delivered to thier house. When he gets there, they do not have money to pay for the food.
    So, the father decides everyone needs food and it is not fair to not give them the food just because they cannot pay for it, so he trades them food for a bunch of junk they have around the house (I mean JUNK).
    He then pays for the groceries out of his own pocket, so he does not have the money for a brand new fishing rod, but that is ok, because he did his "social duty" by making sure these people had food.

    Sounds nice in cartoons, but real life does not, and really should not, work this way.

    Beleive me, I understand not having money for food.
    But that is when I step back and try to figure out why I have no money and how I could have budgeted my money better verses becoming a burden on someone else.

    That added to the Red Cross teaching children that 9/11 was America's Fault because of our intollerance of other religious views......

By patrick on Tuesday, October 22, 2002 - 01:14 pm:

    id say you call and request an afterschool meeting with that teacher asap.

    Realize that to the teacher this:

    "I did write on the contract that I did not need this thing to tell me how to raise my kid"

    sounds bitchy and won't get you anywhere and if anything reaffirms the teachers' efforts to begin with. It sounds blindly defensive without actually taking issue with any particular matter.

    do not approach it as a bitch session either, again, that will not get you anywhere. the teachers are your partners and team mates so to speak so you got to be amiable and not come off aggressive and bitchy.

    Like i said, the contract, while maybe not directed at parents such as yourself, is not a big deal.

    until your child misses 9 days of school, disregard that policy too.

    talk to your teacher about the West Side Story matter. I've never really paid that nonsense too much attention so I have no say on its appropriateness. If you like, ask the teacher for the semester's syllabus so you can see if there is anything up-in-coming that you might want to pull hayley from. for the most part, i wouldnt worry about it too much. hayley is a bright girl and may surprise you on her comprehension of the story.

    Indeed raise a stink about the drug matter, but realize that there is little you can do about it at this point.

    In short convey you feel your parental authority may have been circumvented a bit and while you understand why they may have to do this for the majority of parents, you wish they would consult with youa bit more on matters that may have greater implications other than sheer academics.

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