Tuesday, November 13, 2007

It's Your Job

As we become more and more dependent upon the Nanny State it's inevitable that someone has to push back and tell parents what THEIR job is.

[Referee J. Michael] O'Neil deals with a teenager who just had a baby. Her mom is by her side and the baby is strapped to her chest. She left school to have the child but was supposed to receive at-home services. According to mom, the teacher never showed up.

"That's your job, mom, you should have been on that," O'Neil says. "Pedro Garcia should have tripped over you every day until your child got the homebound teacher she needed.

"If she had cancer, you'd be breaking down the door at Vanderbilt," he says, now yelling. "This is cancer of the mind. She didn't get a homebound teacher and you didn't do anything about it." Tennessean

This really is fundamental and it's a sad day when it's not obvious to mom that she should have/could have dunned MNPS about her daughter's home bound teacher. It's YOUR job parent, to make sure that your children get an education. It's time consuming. It's inconvenient. It's frustrating to beat all---but YOU brought them into the world you've got to ensure they get the skills they need to live well.

If you don't know how to work the system, don't know where Garcia's office is so he can trip over you---ask for help. Put your pride down for their sake. Talk loud and often about what isn't happening for your child and ask how their needs can be met. Don't take no for an answer. Often, no is just the quick and convenient answer. Respond to no with questions about who is next up the authority ladder, who can make it happen.

Don't know what your child isn't getting? Start with some frank discussions with their teachers and other adults in their lives. Find someone who is familiar with the system and has used it successfully for their children. Ask them to mentor you---and then be sure to mentor another parent when you get your head above water and your child is successfully launched in a better educational path.

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