Tuesday, August 9, 2011

That'll be $500, Mr. Dumbass...

Today I read an interesting article on ivillage.com. Apparently, both Alaska and California have now passed laws that hold the parents responsible when their children are failing classes.

The article asks if this is fair. Well, the answer is simple: YES! Duh!

I just flash back to moments in middle school, when the boys who picked on me were the ones who were the same ones failing out. The same ones who were "goth". The ones who you could tell their parents didn't give a crap about them.

These boys shouldn't have been in school with me. They should have been held back for a looooooong time. But teachers keep passing them because they want them gone. They tortured the teachers just as much as they tortured me. But the teachers couldn't change the factor creating these miscreants. They have no authority to punish the parents who should have been making sure their kids were doing their fractions worksheets. These parents use school as free babysitting.

In the grand scheme of things, public school is a relatively new concept. It wasn't until the 1840's that public schools were established in the US. Until that point, only the rich could afford a formal education or any education was religion-based. But the lack of education wasn't a big hindrance since most people didn't need an education because they spent their days farming the fields. But the nation became more industrialized, kids didn't work the fields anymore with their parents because their parents now worked in factories. Somewhere along the line, public school became glorified babysitting.

Now, I am nowhere near being a parent so I have no idea how hard it might be to make sure your kid has their homework done once you're home from a 12 hour shift. But I guess it comes down to priorities and authority to me. The priorities of putting your children first. The priorities to care about what's going on in their lives. And the authority to instigate change when something is happening in their lives that shouldn't be.

I do believe there's a cut-off for holding parents accountable: whenever the child is old enough to legally drop out in that state. Then, the bill should fall on the child. Fine the kid so they can stay in school or they can drop out.

Maybe my viewpoint is skewed because my parents cared. They cared enough to make sure my homework was done and to help me when I was stuck. But if a parent can't do that, they should be fined. It's about time that crappy parents started paying for it.

Some people say that there should be some sort of test before you can have children. Maybe this will finally be the punishment for those people who would have failed the test.

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