It’s not often that even I can clearly see how some in the judicial system can over-reach. While I admit that ninety-seven (97%) percent of these over-reaches are full of good intentions, they still lack the consideration of those that they will affect. A County prosecutor’s plan to jail parents who miss parent teacher’s conferences is more than just extreme, it is criminal in itself.
“Under the law, parents are legally bound to their children until they reach 18 years of age. Guardians are obligated to provide for the mental and physical well-being of their young ones.” “Under Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy’s plan, a parent convicted of a misdemeanor for missing parent-teacher conferences would be facing potential jail time.” “Should Worthy’s plan pass, parents in Wayne County would be required to attend at least one parent-teacher conference a year.” “If the first meeting is missed, a letter will automatically be sent requesting a new conference within 14 days.” “Should parents also miss the second meeting, they could face three days behind bars.” “Although the proposed ordinance may be based on good intentions, it is unlikely to become law because it could infringe on the parent’s civil rights.” (MI Criminal Defense, 7/21/2010, Article Alley, Pending Proposal Could Jail Michigan Parents for Educational Neglect, Retrieved from www.articlealley.com).
There are far too many reasons why some parents, including myself, miss or refuse to attend these conferences. For some it is a question of being a single parent with other children to tend to and very few if any able to watch them while you venture to the school to sit down with their teachers. For some it may be a question of job security and leaving the job early too many times could be the difference between feeding your family and watching them go hungry. For those parents, like me, its more of a question of not wishing to hear a stranger talk to me as I they know my child better than I. For a parent who cuts off the television, sits down and actually talk to their child and make getting their homework done before anything else priority, it’s a lot to take when a stranger tells you that your child is not performing good enough to satisfy them.
We are all quite aware that children will be children and mistakes do not end with adulthood. We are all aware that there are those individuals who may have the title parent but did not earn it. We are aware of these and many things which may contribute to a child losing their way but to paint all parents with a broad brush is stepping over the line. It makes an assumption that all parents are the same and should therefore be treated as a whole instead of what we are, individuals.