NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Some rational thought on school policy

Jeff Ackerman has an excellent column in the 5 April Union, Parents in middle of divergent views
Somewhere in the middle of all of this are the parents. You know ... the ones like me and my wife, who assumed the school district would contact us if they allowed our children to leave campus before school gets out. We assumed that because it seems the schools have to check with us every time our children cough. Some of us are conservative. Some of us are liberal. Most of us, however, are just parents who care about our children and want to know where they are.

It's not that we don't understand the need for some students to leave campus for medical reasons without telling mom or dad. As someone recently pointed out on these pages, these are not "Leave It To Beaver" times we live in, where each home has a mom, dad, two kids and a dog. The policy exists because some parents don't deserve to be parents, so the rest of us must suffer for that. The policy exists for the exception, not the rule, but we pass rules for all. It seems to me the school district ought to be able to make an exception when a student demonstrates a need to seek medical attention without the parent knowing. If, for example, a young woman was raped by her father and needed medical attention, logic ought to dictate that the father probably should not be contacted. In fact, there are supposed to be counselors and school nurses to help deal with those extreme cases.

When I was in high school, teachers, the school nurse and the coach were always on the look out for those students that seem to need additional help, "those extreame cases" and took action. They did not need a 1,000 page policy that covered every possibility, they just did the right thing. In the 1950s they were trusted members of the community, who took responsibility. Today, teachers, nurses and coaches are union members. Today they have to rely on a 1,000 page cover their butt policy before they can act. Today no one wants “ to make an exception when a student demonstrates a need to seek medical attention without the parent knowing,” that would be taking responsibility. That would be acting like Clint Eastwood, who advises “just do the right thing”

Tell me what you think


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