Every night as I dutifully brush my teeth before bed, I read the news on my iPhone. Tonight, I read a very interesting article about a Virginia mom who was arrested for bringing her three daughters to school late on two occasions.
Should parents be held legally responsible for contributing to the delinquency of their children?
Before I answer that question, I want to first applaud whatever school system is responsible for this. Not because I believe the mother “deserved” to be arrested, but because these administrators clearly hold a high standard of achievement for their students. The fact that they are so on top of tardiness, an issue frequently regarded as frivolous, is a testament to their commitment to excellence. Good for you, Virginia.
The mother in this story stated that all four of them (her and her daughters) have been diagnosed with ADHD and other psychological problems that the school board is aware of. Is this information supposed to negate the fact that she is unapologetic about bringing her kids to school late? Too often do parents make excuses while they should be setting an example for their kid and taking responsibility.
Yes, I believe parents should be arrested for contributing to the delinquency of their children.
As an educator in NYC, I’ve seen some unique parenting methods, to say the least. Some parents are pretty clueless about how to reign in their children. I’ve had several parents ask me how to discipline their kids. These situations are actually not so bad. As long as the parents are cooperative and committed to helping their kid, things usually turn out okay.
On the other hand, there are many parents that have little or no interest in child-rearing, but rely on teachers to discipline, mentor, and all but clothe their kids. These are the toughest, most frustrating cases. We’ve had parents who not only support their child in cutting school, they order them lunch. We’ve had parents who not only shirk the responsibility for their child’s truancy, they demand that we find their estranged spouse so that person can handle their kid. We’ve had parents call the school for their kid, knowing he or she is not sick. I’ve heard excuse after excuse after excuse. I’ve even had a parent come to school to give their child permission to drop out of school.
And I teach at a really great school. Can you imagine what’s going on in the trenches?
Unfortunately, teachers and administrators in NYC can’t do much to hold parents accountable for their negligent ways. If I call ACS, I need to prove educational neglect and then, the case often gets dropped or is unresolved. Instead of rewarding bare-minimum parenting, we need to show parents that there are serious consequences for neglecting their children.
Parents who contribute to the delinquency of their children contribute to the down fall of society.
I had to say it!
I’m not arguing that the Virginia mom is contributing to the down fall of society because her kids were late to school twice. The excuses and refusal to take responsibility is where it all starts though and while she should not have been arrested, she does need to face appropriate consequences. Parents should be held accountable for doing their parental duties and caring about their children.
Did you react with outrage to the Virginia mom’s arrest or applause, like yours truly?