So while we're talking about Texas schools, how about this gem coming from the Republican side of the legislature:
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 misdemeanor and fine them for playing hooky from a scheduled parent-teacher conference.
Red flags here! One of the dangers of compulsory public education is that soon too many things associated with it also become compulsory. And won't this do wonders for how parents feel about their children's teachers and schools?
Smith explains his motives:
Now I'm all for parents being involved in their children's education, obviously. I hope that all parents will care enough to arrange a way to meet with a child's teacher. But this is crazy! Do we really think that a parent who is so detached as to need the threat of a criminal record is one that's going to get a lot out of a parent-teacher conference?
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.
Let's hope the voices of sanity will prevail:
Austin parent Mary Christine Reed has children in third and seventh grades and is involved in her parent-teacher association. She said she knows of some problems teachers have had, but as a parent, wonders if a steep fine or criminal charge would make them worse.
"If the idea is to create communication, to send them into the criminal justice system ... is going to do nothing but have a negative impact," Reed said. "It would make parents more scared of the school."
Feel free to sound off on this one :-)