Of course people really care about their children. In thirty years of teaching I never had a parent /teacher conference with a parent who didn't truly love their child- whatever other problems they may have had.
Why then do we hear in the news that a school that took their students to HOOTERS - a restaurant with waitresses that could work at the PLAYBOY CLUB- on a field trip, apparently had NO COMPLAINTS from the parents, according to the school district?
It sounds kind of like Helena where the school board has in place a curriculum that CLEARLY STATES that barriers to ORAL AND ANAL SEX will be taught to FIFTH GRADERS is reelected. How many parents have even read that curriculum?
Are parents just too busy in their lives to really police and stand up to school policies that will harm their children? Are they dazzled by cute bulletin boards and friendly teachers? Our schools are no longer a moral authority as they were in the past. Things have changed. Parents can no longer trust that schools will provide a good basic education to their children. Our Helena schools have very low scores as we pointed out over and over in the campaign.
It's up to parents to look beyond the dazzle and find out what's really going on at school. Don't just ask for curriculum materials. Find out who the speakers will be, what films will be shown, and what materials will be used beyond the textbook Volunteer in school and get to know the people who are teaching your children everyday. How much time is spent on academics and how effective are the lessons? Are they teaching the whole textbook?
Follow the district scores and don't accept the excuse that it's the tests- every district in Montana has the same tests. It's great and essential to talk to your children but information to you of what goes on in school beyond their personal friends and feelings will be minimal. They just don't tell you- or even understand things that go on a school that may not be good for them.
Parents are being bombarded with public relations and up to this point it's been somewhat effective. I was a victim of this myself when my children were in school but over time I learned. The DARE program is a good example of a terrible program that has wormed it's way into parents hearts replete with DARE graduates and bumper stickers. What has the DARE program ever done but use up valuable classroom time and watch over increased drug usage in our schools? It's time to start investigating and get your friends involved too.