Monday, September 10, 2007

Daily Rant Update: Parent No Show, Part II

This one (Daily Rant: Parent No Show) seems to have hit a nerve, so I'm readdressing it just to make one thing clear. In no way am I bashing all parents who don't show up for PTA or PTO or whatever it's called in your neck of the woods. Obviously, for some it's simply not an option (I figure if you have a newborn at home, you're basically excused). And if you're a parent that's involved in any capacity, kudos to you. I've got your back.

The problem is bigger, however, than small unavailability issues. Having 10 involved parents out of a pool of hundreds is unacceptable -- and I'm not just talking about showing up to meetings. The idea that it should just be left to the other parents who aren't as busy isn't cutting it. Most of us are very busy. All of the time. I was running a newspaper, writing freelance, and raising two kids under 8 while I was on the PTO board -- I didn't do it all well, all of the time, but really it's simply a matter of making the decision that it's important, and doing what you can to make it work.

And perhaps there are many schools out there with loads of parent involvement -- I just haven't had the good fortune to be part of any of them. Thus my frustration.

I still think we're not doing a good enough job as communities in general to support public education. And I still think, on the whole, people are much better at pointing the finger than taking action.

Cynical? Yeah, I guess. But I calls 'em as I sees 'em. And thus far, the evidence stands.

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