Friday, December 01, 2006

No Need for Parents?

Spunky Homeschool points out a new education initiative for England's schools, announced by Prime Minister Tony Blair: graduates should not just know the "3 R's" but have "life skills" which include being able to "cook a meal...enjoy the theatre and use the internet."

She responds to this government nannyism with the pithy comment "...why don't they just keep kids in school full-time and parents can check them out like library books when they want to play with them."

That about says it all.

Reminds me of a story I linked to over a year ago, in which a pro "universal preschool" teacher said, "Since schools are doing so much of the education, nurturing and socialization of kids these days, it's better to get them in earlier..."

These attitudes are really quite a sad reflection on modern society and the increasing desire of those in the employ of the government to step into what traditionally have been parental roles. We all know there are some sad situations out there where parents are uninvolved and do a poor job, but that doesn't justify the government stepping into the role of parenting everyone's children.

When my children were still in our local public schools I found myself constantly having to "push back" against the schools to maintain the proper school/parent roles; for example, the school was conducting onsite scoliosis exams without first obtaining parental consent. I was told that was too cumbersome a process as the children couldn't be depended on to take home permission slips or letters; and since the school was doing a good thing, what parent would object? No one disputes that preventing scoliosis is a noble goal, but I'm sorry, you don't have my child disrobe and examine her without consulting me -- the parent -- first. I could give several similar examples.

I had some successes on a couple of like issues after contacting the school district's attorney, but eventually the "battles" wore me out. It's no fun being a squeaky wheel. And I wondered why none of the other parents raised the same kinds of it easier for most parents to "go along to get along"?

Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons I think in years to come we are going to see our nanny state schools encroaching further and further into "parenting" our children, and based on my past experiences, I suspect not too many parents will quibble.


Blogger jau said...

I'm so with you on this. My own related story is that at the so-called elite women's college I went to (one of the "seven sisters"), we were photographed each year in only bra and panties, front and back and sides, supposedly in order to check for "bad things" (never specified and no, I don't know where the pictures are now). One wonders what that was really all about. It felt intrusive and wrong, and has since been written about with dutifully horrified outrage. But your reports suggest little has changed and/or it's getting worse because of the lackadaisical among us. Depressing!

7:49 AM  
Blogger Spunky said...

Thanks for sharing your story. So often you hear that simply because the goal is "noble" we shouln't be against it. No one seems to stop and think about the means to that goal anymore.

8:14 AM  
Blogger Irene said...

The excuse the school gave you about it being so hard to get the kids to take home permission slips is phooey. I work in a private Christian school as an aide and, yes, it's hard to get things home to parents especially in the upper grades. Yes, some parents don't even bother to look in their child's folder or turn things in. Yes, it's WORK to get stuff back. So the school either just took the easy way out, or, more than likely is using that excuse to force themselves into the control of the children and we know what's best for them position. Good for you for taking a stand against this ever invasive practice. Were that there were more parents like you out there.

9:18 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older