Issues Important to Me Essay

Submitted By blanche181
Words: 732
Pages: 3

Holding parents legally responsible for the actions of their children is important to me. As a teacher, I am well-aware of how closely tied student performance is to parental involvement. Almost every parent-teacher conferences I have attended have involved meetings with parents whose children are doing very well and therefore, are the parents I did not need to see. On the contrary, I infrequently see those parents of the children whom I have serious concerns of and whom I desperately need to meet. Coming from a different country, I was surprised to see the lack of parental involvement in the school I work at. Maybe it is a cultural difference, however, a parent or a relative always tries to get the first seat in every Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) meetings in the Philippines. Because of lack of school funds, most parents also get involved in raising enough money for events, competitions, and simple infrastructures. They work together, and make decisions that are important for their children in school. In the five years I have been teaching in the US, twenty-five parents were the most that I’ve seen in a conference, out of 180 students. There is a growing movement to hold parents accountable. A bill was introduced in the state of Florida where school administrators were called to grade parents for their involvement or the lack of (Couwels, 2011). Some parents in Maryland have been put to jail for failing to bring their children to school (Green, 2011). Parents may be fined up to $500 for every five unexcused absences in Alaska (“Alaskan parents fined,” 2010). In California, a law was passed allowing the state to prosecute, fine, and jail parents due to their child missing school (Schools for all campaign, n.d.).
While I do not believe in simply incarcerating irresponsible parents, I do agree that if it is combined with other initiatives, it may effectively elicit change. One way to help struggling parents is by sending them to parenting classes. Instead of focusing on sanctions and punishment, rewarding parents that are wise, informed and responsible is also important if we are to encourage parental involvement. Rewards such as discounts on local businesses, local tax rebates, credits toward tuition-assistance programs and maybe a more substantial child tax credit from the federal government are some possible ways that may entice other parents to do better.
The shooting that happened in Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 24th, 2012 involving the death of 20 innocent children have shifted the gun control paradigm. Creating a law for increased gun restrictions is one of the most important issues to Americans as of today. Proponents to gun restrictions believe that not owning a gun can prevent accidents from happening either self-inflicted or injuring others around him. Advocates also agree that shootouts by those