Schools Are Not Parents, so don’t blame them for parenting fails.

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mash: parenting / education / Opt-Ed

 

Schools are not parents: it isn’t a school’s job to parent a child. It’s frustrating to hear the constant news items that keep popping up about parents with unrealistic expectations of what a school, and it’s employees, are supposed to do.

my two cents  

Schools are partners with parents in educating their children, not raising them. A school is an institution designed to teach students so that they can take a place in society. Period. While there definitely is an ethical responsibility of a school to show children the path towards being “good citizens”, ultimately it is up to the parent and guardians to mold that child into a positive, responsible adult.

 

To think that a school can be held responsible for the moral decisions a child makes is asinine. A recent article about a mother mad at a school because her 12-year-old daughter used an iPad on loan from the school to read erotic literature is about the silliest thing ever. In a classroom full of students who all have iPads (the girl was part of a program that lent the devices out to all students) a teacher is supposed to know what site every child is on at every moment? Yes, there was software installed to block such sites. However anyone who is even slightly literate about the internet knows that new sites, and new ways to get around such blocks, come up daily. NO software is 100% guaranteed to block all banned content, every time.

 

So instead of grabbing this opportunity to talk openly with her daughter about the changes her body is going through, sexuality, the importance of obeying rules (even if you CAN break them), and responsible use of technology, this mom blasts out the school in the media. Sorry: parenting fail. The school did everything it could reasonably be expected to do. Ball is your court mom.

 

Some parents don’t even realize the effect their whining and complaining about things that aren’t the school’s fault, and shirking of responsibility, has on their kids.

 

And speaking of not-so-bright parents with technology, how about the 4-year-old who was expelled from a private Christian academy over mom’s post on Facebook. Basically mom seemed to be mad that she didn’t know about picture day. The school said they sent a notice home in his agenda a week prior, a notice mom says didn’t get. Mom got mad and took to Facebook, calling the staff of the conservative private Christian academy “ignorant” on social media and tagged the school (that’s the not so bright part). The results could be predicted. It is after all a private, conservative Christian school.

 

Who knows, the school personnel could have been lying and not sent the form home. However, still not bright mom–especially when you signed a form that said you wouldn’t do something that could be viewed as controversial in relation to the school. In honesty, it sounds like the school had issues with her before and just used this as an excuse to get rid of a trouble-causing parent. Once again, schools are institutions, and they have rules and human staff. If you don’t like the rules, or think the staff is ignorant, don’t send your kid there.

 

schools are not parentsSome parents don’t even realize the effect their whining and complaining about things that aren’t the school’s fault, and shirking of responsibility, has on their kids. The student who subcumvented the school’s rules on the iPad had already put the entire project in jeopardy (other projects had be cancelled for similar issues). However, now that a magnifier has been placed on the issue by the mother, chances are this program will have a major blow as well. No school district wants negative press. Not only has the girl probably lost the freedom to use technology in the school district for a long time–a bunch of other students might lose access to it also. And in a society that is so technologically driven, this really is a lose for these students’ education.

 

And as for the boy expelled from preschool, poor little chap. Do I think the “Christian academy” handled this well? Probably not. However, it’s the mom’s handling of the escalated situation that did the most harm. If you see the story about the incident it not only lists his first and last name–it shows his picture. Now not only will his next teacher look at his face and think they’ve seen him before, they can Google him. And any mom who doesn’t realize that their cute son now enters his new classroom with a cloud of gloom-and-doom shaped oddly like her (at least in the mind of his teacher and administration) is sadly mistaken. The poor boy not only paid for moms poor choice by being kicked out of what was apparently on the surface a good school (it was private, and the mom did chose to send him there after all) but he will continue to pay for her grandstanding with some of his teachers in the future who that might recognize who his mother is.

 

In the end, we don’t know all of the details of either story. However, both are great reminders that the actions of parents can affect their children’s education, and that schools are just institutions. Schools are not parents: they aren’t responsible for moral teachings, ethical training, or emptying your kids bookbag when they get home.

 

Are you a parent? When is a good time to broadcast your feelings of displeasure with a school? Have you ever had a problem with your child’s school? How did you handle it?

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  • RealArmyofMoms Blog

    We have stopped wanting to be responsible for our selves and that spill over into becoming responsible parents. I wish people would stop griping about what someone else didn’t do for them and start just doing what was right and taking care of business.

    • http://thatsmashedup.com Mrs. Mashed Up

      Couldn’t have said it better myself!

  • http://www.noliesplace.com Nolie

    I have had a problem and I ended up switching schools. I need to have faith in my childs teacher.

  • http://francramon.com/ Franc Ramon

    The kids biggest influence would always be their parents. We should ensure though that they get quality education in school.

  • Rochkirstin Santos

    Choosing a reputable school to send your kids is very critical since the school environment and everyone in it will have a part in molding what your kid would become. It’s like their second home for years.

    • http://thatsmashedup.com Mrs. Mashed Up

      Very, very true! We’ve already begun looking ion where we will send Baby Mash.

  • @weareofficially

    I just had a discussion with my husband about it. He heard some bad reviews about the school my daughter will be attending. He said he heard kids there cuss as young as 4. I told him it’s not because of the school, it’s because of the parents! Anyway, I think it has an effect too on the parents’ side if their ‘good’ kid get the attitude of the ‘not-so-good’ ones.

    • http://thatsmashedup.com Mrs. Mashed Up

      It’s hard to get a kid to to cuss, if that is what they hear all the time at home. Especially at 4… they just copy what they hear.

  • http://www.gentlebim.com Ben Butler

    GREAT post! Ultimately, we as parents are responsible for our children’s learning. Teachers do what teachers do, but we are the ones who enforce, reinforce, and assist when our kids need us.

  • Kung Phoo

    I express it as soon as it happens.. and it has happened and i had to take care of the situation asap! Awesome Post!

  • http://mommyonlyhas2hands.org/ Heather – MOHTH

    I don’t think there’s every a good time to ” broadcast” it. I think the child’s mother is in the wrong here. I agree we are responsible for our children, the school and teachers can only lead a child in the right direction.

  • mommamellon

    I agree that it is the parents job to parent and the schools job to educate but to expel a child for their mother’s actions is punishing a child for something they personally didn’t do is childish of the school. It’s just sad that the little boy has to deal with the outcome is all. Although from previous jobs in the education field there were parents that I would have loved to have not had to deal with, she kinda sounded like one of them. The little girl getting on to provocative material needed to be talked to about rules among other things. I do agree that the teacher should have had some inkling as to what they were looking at but it was in the end the child’s fault because she knew what she was doing was wrong.

    • http://thatsmashedup.com Mrs. Mashed Up

      I agree, the school looks very petty too. And the teacher definitely needs to be more “with it” as to what was going on in the classroom. But kids are sneaky, and this one was obviously tech savvy. Wonder if the mom knows what she was doing on their home computer.

  • Robin Rue

    I am lucky that my kids go to an awesome school. All the teaching staff is supportive and the other moms in the community all know one another.

  • http://www.FromCtoC.com/ Candace

    I don’t know. I genuinely believe it takes a village to raise a child. We aren;t giving teachers the respect they deserve, and therefore our kids aren’t giving teachers any respect. I think we need to give a little more credit, honor, and power back to the teachers and become a team again.

    • http://thatsmashedup.com Mrs. Mashed Up

      I definitely see a decline in respect for the profession. :-(

    • FamiGami

      I disagree. Yes, it takes a village to raise a child but responsibility only lies on the parents. It isn’t a school’s fault that there are bullies. Parents hold the burden of teaching their children how to behave. Schools can only react to the lack of parenting a child has.

      • http://thatsmashedup.com Mrs. Mashed Up

        Well put! Schools are like dogs with no teeth when it comes to teaching children how to behave–all bark, no bite. While yes, schools are in a place to teach a child moral or ethical behavior (“be a good citizen”), neither public schools, nor their workers, are in position or power enforce, or discipline a child who isn’t. That power lies with the parent, so ultimately so too must the responsibility.

  • Motivating Mommy

    I am a parent and on my sons first day of school they lost him and when I came to pick my 6 year old up he wasn’t there. I think that was worth broadcasting since it had nothing to do with me as a parent and everything to do with the organization of the school. When i asked where my kid was they didn’t know. I ended up calling around and finding out that he got on a daycare bus and had to go pick him up at a local daycare in the area.

    • http://thatsmashedup.com Mrs. Mashed Up

      Oh, that’s just ridiculous! I would have been livid! There was a kid locally who was released with the the walkers during the first week, but he was a car rider. Some high schoolers found him like a mile away walking on a busy road, completely lost!!

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  • http://www.wemake7.com Bonnie Gowen @WEMAKE7

    I totally agree, I would never think my children’s school should parent them. I have had a problem in the past and we addressed it asap, called a meeting with the principal and the teacher.

  • http://thatsmashedup.com Mrs. Mashed Up

    Totally agree. Addressing it directly via email, or better yet in person, is a much better way to handle issues if you want them to actually be resolved.

  • sherrijo

    This is why I do at home cyber charter school with my kids… because the parents don’t teach their kids how to act!

  • Joanna Sormunen

    I agree. But teachers shouldn’t send homework where parent is responsable of teaching new concept. That is the teachers job. I do mine but they should do theirs too.

    • http://thatsmashedup.com Mrs. Mashed Up

      Agreed! Good homework should just be used to practice a learned concept. But that’s a whole other conversation. lol

      • Joanna Sormunen

        That’s true. It’s just my pet peeve, lol

  • http://www.mrsthreeinthree.com/ Karly Gomez

    Ha ha ha, I think I am officially in love with you, I agree SO MUCH. I hate seeing articles where parents complain about how someone else is responsible for their kids acting like damn fools. I hate it even more when they get away with it!

  • http://www.shutterbugmom.com/ A Shutterbug’s Lair

    Home is the initial place kids/teens learn good morals.

  • Kung Phoo

    We have had issues with my sons schools and bad things that have happened.. we took it upon ourselves to correct the issue with the school and things seem to be ok now.

  • http://artpark78.com/blog1 yonawilliams

    I agree…schools and teachers are not there to raise or babysit kids. However, there are a lot of flaws in the educational system that are far more alarming than what a child decides to look up while he/she has a loner iPad in her possession. Some people just don’t know how to choose the right battles, and recognize what is more important in the scheme of things.

  • Vanessa Primavera

    As a former teacher. Thank you!

  • Dawn Kropp

    I agree 100% with you! Kids need to be parented at HOME!!

  • Kori

    My kids are in good schools and we haven’t had any issues yet. I wonder though, if that’s going to change with my youngest. I’ll find out eventually.

  • Carly Anderson

    I really could not agree more. Teachers are that… teachers. They’re not the children’s parents.

  • http://www.treatsbytanya.com/ Tanya Coffman

    Mom tagging the school her son goes too – not so classy. Mom getting upset her daughter was able to use school provided instruments that allotted her access to inappropriate material – I vote justifiable. If my kids are in the care of an institution, they have the right to be supervised. If the classroom is too big, they need to supply aids to assist the staff. My kids started out through a private christian academy – and they were very clear about expectations from the parents as well as the students. They also ‘did time’ in public school after we moved across the country, and I opted for homeschooling. I believe your right, it is the parents responsibility to teach the child. Teachers in public schools these days are much different in the ways of morals then when I was growing up.

    • http://thatsmashedup.com Mrs. Mashed Up

      Many teacher probably don’t even share the same morals that people expect. It’s true. Baby Mash’s teacher will not be his moral examples unless I personally know them.

  • http://www.thehungryintrovert.com Jaime Nicole

    I agree. Schools aren’t for parenting and education doesn’t end when the bell rings but I think that expelling a kid for a mom’s theatrical reaction is silly and I wouldn’t send my kid there. The child didn’t do anything wrong, the mom was overreaction and classless but she didn’t threaten them (I didn’t read the article at all). That would be different but do they not allow ANY complaints? How dare you complain especially publicly! We will kick you out! And that’s why I don’t trust any place that snuffs out any negativity- even if it’s ridiculous. They want to control it all and you get false positives.

    My daughter’s school is awesome though and I adore her teachers.

    However, is this REALLY anything new? I mean, come on. How many years has this been going on? There have always been people who felt that the schools were daycares/parenting long before we were born.

  • Ourfamilyworld

    I agree 100%: Schools are not parents. Schools are teaching skills. They can work with parents for certain aspects but they cannot replace them

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  • Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell

    I’ve seen a growing trend with parents thinking their kids should be exceptions to the rules. The authority of schools has really been undermined.

  • Esther Wilson

    I agree to a point but if the teachers do not communicate with the parents about what is going on at school that can become a big issue. I have to be honest my child acts different at school than she does at home. So a child might not be a bully at home but might be one at school. There are some parents that just drop their kids off at school and could care less of what goes on and that does drive me nuts. I think it is important for parents and teachers to work together.

    • http://thatsmashedup.com Mrs. Mashed Up

      Totally agree–the best outcomes are when parents and teachers work together.

  • http://www.maggiestruth.com Maggie King

    I totally agree. I also think this is vice versa as well. Schools should let parents be parents.

  • http://www.itsmedeann.com/ Deann

    I agree, we go to school so we can learn from other people! But of course I would love to get my child to a great school!

  • http://www.eastcoastmama.com Katrina DeOliveira

    I am a special ed mom so I feel like I spend so much time at the kids schools and see it from all ends. I’ve seen parents not show up for IEP meetings, I’ve been the only parent in a class (2 years in a row) to show up to parent teacher conferences, and I’ve seen parents complain about their child not getting this and that and I literally want to choke them and tell them to start parenting. However I’ve also been on the fighting and complaining end, when I know what my kid needs and I know what he’s entitled to under law and having to fight for it really gets discouraging as a parent. However that has always been a ed department issue, and a funding issue not a teacher issue. When it comes to special ed its sad but the squeaky wheel is the one that gets the most services in many instances, sad but true. AND with all that I always try to keep my feeling about the school and situations amongst adults, my children do not need to see or hear it.

    • http://thatsmashedup.com Mrs. Mashed Up

      Well I have a soft spot for parents like you. :-) I think their is a BIG difference between what you’ve experienced and these two moms. Complaining over things that aren’t a school’s responsibility is one thing. Advocating to get the best *education* for you child is a whole other thing.

  • http://adorkablii.com/ Amandajean

    I couldn’t agree with this more! I see it all the time where parents think these kids should come home learning to be nice and respectful, learning to listen and such. It is our job to teach our child these things. I don’t know why parents think it is the schools job! I love my sons teacher!!

  • http://tinytotsadventure.blogspot.com/ Natasha

    I think that in some situations raising the child does fall on the schools a little. My child is in your care for 6-7 hours sometimes longer 5 days a week and with one of my children 6. Children pick up behaviors from other children and I am not there, therefore it is your duty as the school, the people that I am entrusting my children too to look out for them along with everyone else child. So yes, you are responsible for my child’s behavior in a sense.

    The little book reader girl, I bet that she was not the only one reading a book like that on their loaned iPad. Children share secrets and that book was one of them. Because it was done at school and you didn’t catch it fast enough before it got to my child, then it is your fault. This fail falls on the school, not the parent.

    I’ve been dealing with the schools for about 9 years with two children and in these nine years I have had my fair share of problems with schools, teachers and other parents. I don’t take to social network to blast them I am the parent who calls and arranges a meeting so that whatever the problem is it can be worked out.

    Now I also am not the parent who just calls for any and everything. I know my kids but I also know that when they are not in my eye sight that they have brains of their own and a will to do what they want no matter what morals and values I have worked so hard to instill in them. So I place blame on them also when they know better.

    For that poor child with the highly intelligent mother I feel for him cause this is just the beginning.This fail lies with the school and parent. The school was wrong for punishing this child for the actions of the mother. How messed up is that?

    • http://thatsmashedup.com Mrs. Mashed Up

      I can totally see where you’re coming from. But from the perspectives of a pretty tech-savvy and with-it teacher, I would not be held responsible for the behaviors of children who have access to iPads throughout the day. I can either educate or police, but not both at the same time. And yes, the school can tighten up tech security. But within a month there will be a loophole, and the child should be held responsible for taking advantage of a loophole.

      That’s how fast moving tech works–there will always be a loophole. At their jobs people can access pornography–but a worker who is caught shouldn’t blame their boss for not having better security when they knew better. If this mom want to raise a responsible child she needs to look at her daughter’s actions harder than the school.

      I think my main problem isn’t that the mother looked at the school to improve (there is always room for improvement)–it’s that she blamed the school for her child’s poor decision making. And a teacher who has 25 kids for 6 hours a day, charged with teaching them the 3 Rs, how to take a test, and everything in between might, just might, miss those moral “teachable moments”. But then again, that isn’t really their job anyway. There is no class in school called “Decision Making 101″ or “Ethical Behavior” because that is something a kid learns at home. From their parent. From the family. Not from Mrs. Bee the teacher who a parent has no personal knowledge of (beliefs or habits).

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