According to ABC News’ Children Late for School, Parents Charged in Virginia, the Virginia school district had the sheriff’s deputy’s handcuff and arrest Maureen Blake while hosting a slumber party for her children. It seems that Blake was responsible for her children being tardy ten times since the start of this school year. Apparently she had the same problem last year and paid around $2,000 in fines.
District spokesman Wayde Byard said, “Even when they’re a minute late… it’s very disruptive.” Executive Director of the American Association of School Administrators, Dan Domenech, says that parents have to understand it’s not just about them and their child. “The disruptive factor, the security factor, the bad-example factor” are all concerns for Domenech.
Undoubtedly it is disruptive when children walk in late; although it is apparent the district is not doing anything to deter this behavior. They continue to allow these children to disrupt class, as long as they continue to pay their fines. So you can be tardy as long as you pay; this is another example of a school district appearing to do something; not actually doing anything, but appearing to do it. That is what America’s educational leaders are seemingly concerned with; the perception of doing something without ever changing anything.
Mark Denicore, an attorney, who also faces misdemeanor charges for his children showing up late, asked a few very relevant questions, “What else is causing a disruption? Passing a note? Chewing gum? Are they going to charge the parents?”
Without a doubt those questions have not even touched the surface. Passing notes and chewing gum would be a cake walk in today’s classrooms. What about charging the child who back talks the teacher; causes fights in the classroom; refuses to do what is asked, etc., etc., etc.?
When I first read this I must admit I was at a loss for words, obviously I have moved past that. Nevertheless, here we are again concerned more for those who are absent verses those who choose to be present. I agree that something needs to be done, however it should be done for all disruptions. We should not waste time on taking them to court and fining them; after one or two tardies we simply refuse them entrance to school. Tell them they will not be allowed in school that day and try again tomorrow; stops the disruptions and does not waste the courts time.
To follow up on Denicore questions, I cannot help but wonder – if they are so concerned with the tardies being so disruptive, why is there so little concern for those students that disrespect teachers; that do not behave in class; that treat other children brutally? It seems the district, actually America’s entire school system, is more concerned with the three cockroaches on the playground than the pack of pit-bulls in the classrooms.
If parents do not think it is important enough to bring their children to school or bring them on time – that is on the parents. Parenting is not the job of the school districts. However, all disruptions should be the responsibility of the school system; children whose parents do not care about education should not be allowed to disrupt the education of the children and parents who do care.
Our leaders are so mixed up and if it were not such a tragedy for our children it would almost be laughable. Ask yourself, why is it so important for America’s education leaders to have our schools become the parents to all children? The lone purpose I can conceive of is so they might control these children as they develop into adults. Remember an uneducated society is much easier to manipulate.