Texas Rep. trying to fine/jail parents for not attending teacher meetings

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by txsvicki, Feb 2, 2007.

  1. txsvicki

    txsvicki Active Member

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    If this passes, I may go to jail in protest. I quit going to meetings this year because I am already protesting something else. I do send a note requesting phone meetings at their convenience, but they never called. Texas lawmakers are getting ridiculous.

    http://www.lubbockonline.com/stories/020107/sta_020107064.shtml

    Proposed bill: Big trouble if you miss teacher meeting
    BY JIM VERTUNO
    ASSOCIATED PRESS


    AUSTIN - Texas parents beware: miss a meeting with your child's teacher and it could cost you a $500 fine and a criminal record.

    A Republican state lawmaker from Baytown has filed a bill that would charge parents of public school students with a Class C misdemeanor and fine them for playing hooky from a scheduled parent-teacher conference.

    Excuses are allowed, but be prepared to have a good one. In a state that allows corporal punishment, this could subject parents to a good spanking.

    Rep. Wayne Smith said Wednesday he wants to get parents involved in their child's education.

    "I think it helps the kids for the parents and teachers to communicate. That's all the intent was," Smith said, adding he talked to teachers, including his daughter, who teaches in junior high, before filing the bill.
     
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  3. Pandora

    Pandora New Member

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    If this is going to be enforced, teachers should be required to make these appointments when and where it is convenient for parents! As a teacher in a low income area, I held meetings at homes, libraries, supermarket parking lots, etc. . ., at times when the parents could make it. This was, in some cases EARLY in the morning (after night shift) or LATE in the day/night (after second shift). These politicians need to get a grip on the fact that Joe Public does not work a 9-5 job that he/she can leave on a whim! (Yes, I know these conferences are important, BUT employers many times disagree! Keeping food on the tables and roofs over the heads of these kids is vital!)
    ARRRRRRRGHHHHHH!!!!!!
     
  4. Peter Hamilton

    Peter Hamilton New Member

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    lol--dumbest thing i ever heard,jailing and fining parents for not going to scheduled PTA meetings--sounds rather communist: you WILL be at the next party meeting lol
     
  5. Melisinde

    Melisinde Mizz Undastood

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    While I can understand the spirit of the proposed law, I really don't think this is the right way to go about it and would never support it. It is true that a lot of parents need to be more involved in their children's educations. (I understand that for a lot of people, the meetings are often at inconvenient times.) Far too often, I have seen that some parents see school as a free babysitter and that they need not be involved in the affairs of their children at school. When I say this, I 'm talking about a lot of experiences from junior high and high school. Junior was skipping class for 2 weeks straight and Mom and Dad just said, "Oh no! Not MY son." :doh:
     
  6. southcitymom

    southcitymom New Member

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    Insanity! Every public school story makes me so glad I don't have to deal with them.
     
  7. ljwf22

    ljwf22 Reality continues to ruin my life.

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    I believe the misguided congressman means parent-teacher conferences, not PTA. With No Child Left Behind, there is pressure to get 100% compliance, but this is NOT the way to achieve that. I predict this bill will never make it out of committee.
     
  8. Jeana (DP)

    Jeana (DP) Former Member

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    A parent/teacher conference is only required when the student is failing or about to fail. If a parent isn't willing to come into school to try and figure out why their child can't pass their subjects, then I believe they do need to be fined.
     
  9. julianne

    julianne Former Member

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    Ridiculous.
     
  10. ljwf22

    ljwf22 Reality continues to ruin my life.

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    Not at my school. We have three parent-teacher conferences per year. If kids are failing we talk to them as soon as there's trouble. But yes, some parents (very few, by the way) don't come at all........
     
  11. Smurf

    Smurf New Member

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    I communicate with my kids teachers via e-mail and that should count for something. So what if you can't make it to the meeting? E-mail is the next best thing and I'm sure every teacher has an e-mail address.
     
  12. samhoney

    samhoney Searching for an Answer

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    This makes me so glad that I'm child-free. :dance:
     
  13. ljwf22

    ljwf22 Reality continues to ruin my life.

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    It does. Any one-on-one communication counts: phone, in person, e-mail. Believe me, this congressman is looking for publicity.
     
  14. Jeana (DP)

    Jeana (DP) Former Member

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    Thanks for the info. Are you in Texas? I think that's the state they're talking about. That's where we are.
     
  15. Dark Knight

    Dark Knight New Member

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    There would be SO many lawsuits challenging the Constitionality of this bill when it passed it would make your head spin!
     
  16. Jessiebell

    Jessiebell Lizard Catcher

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    Not here Jeana - we have two a year no matter what.
     
  17. Jessiebell

    Jessiebell Lizard Catcher

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    Ahhhh! I see.
     
  18. ljwf22

    ljwf22 Reality continues to ruin my life.

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    No, Michigan. I love parent-teacher conferences. They're somewhat stressful but I love swappin' stories...after the academic discussion that is....
     
  19. txsvicki

    txsvicki Active Member

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    Yes, at least here, they are called GOALS meetings. Jeana's district could have more meetings, but they are normally held at the beginning of the school year. School lets out on those days at Noon. They have them on 2 different days only. Parents have to attend from 1- til around 3 when school lets out. They've had these meetings for years now but no one has been forced to attend so far. The meetings are actually nothing important at all, because the parent really has no say in what they will study anyway. The teacher goes over what they will do that year and that's it. Last year at the one I attended, the teacher promptly began telling me that my grandson has ADHD not ADD even though he was diagnosed by a medical expert, not some teacher. Then she went on to dispute that he wears his sweat shirt for attention, not because he is cold natured and cold in her room. This is only a small fraction of why I refuse to attend these things.
     
  20. ljwf22

    ljwf22 Reality continues to ruin my life.

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    I find this bizarre. The parents are expected to attend a two-hour meeting about the curriculum? Is it in the child's classroom? We have an open house where I have a parent-friendly pamphlet on the grade-level content. I'm sure not everyone reads it. Who's watching the kids when school is out but the parents are expected to be there?
     
  21. txsvicki

    txsvicki Active Member

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    Yes, the meetings take place over a period of a couple of hours, but each parent's portion is only 15-30 minutes. I have had to sit and wait for other people to get finished at times over the years and most just take their kids with them if necessary. These meetings are really not important at all since they are at the very first of each school year, and they do give out a pamphlet which lists what is talked about at the meeting. They could send this home with the kids. Of course, if the child is failing or having behavior problems they let parents know in other ways. Usually by letter. If they are failing, there is after school tutoring and that's about it unless the parent wants to get a child tested for disabilities. It took me 3 years to get one child into special ed reading and that was only after I had to hire an advocate at $75 per hour. There is also an annual ARD meeting for kids with special ed or individual education plans, but I don't think the lawmaker is talking about these meetings since the parents have to be extremely involved to get their kids into these in the first place.
     

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