Posted by Liz D.
Listening to the radio on the way home from work a few weeks
ago, I couldn't believe it when I heard a Chicago alderwoman accuse
teachers at Fenger High School in Chicago of being
responsible for kids' behavior outside of school. Not just once,
but three times she declared that it was the job of teachers to
raise our children to eschew violence and steer clear of gangs.
The reporter for the radio station was just as stunned. He
repeated interrupted the alderwoman to ask, "But isn't that the
family's job?" Eventually, begrudgingly, she acknowledged that it
should be the family's responsibility, but since so many families
weren't doing it, the job fell to teachers.
I hope I'm not alone in finding this an incredible injustice
towards teachers. When I send my kids to school, I expect them to
learn geometry and history, reading and language arts. But year
after year, as parents relinquish their responsibility to raise
their children to become good citizens of the world, schools have
had to step up to the plate. Sex education? Add it to the
curriculum. Mean girls taking over the school? Time for character
education. But now we're placing the blame on schools for kids who
are outside the classroom, in the community, fighting and killing
Where's the public outrage that we, as parents, families and
communities have dropped the ball in raising our kids? Is it just
easier to throw it back on the schools -- one more thing we can add
to their workload because so many parents have failed?
I'm not saying it isn't hard. As a single, working parent of
three teens and tweens, I get the challenges we face in
counteracting the crazy messages the world dishes out to our kids
on a daily basis. There are probably plenty of times I don't get it
right, but I keep trying. Because until my children set foot inside
a classroom how they behave is my responsibility-not their
teacher's. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
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