Mandating Parent Involvement

Michigan’s Wayne County Prosecutor is pushing for legislation that would put parents in jail for three days if they fail to show up for at least one parent-teacher conference each year. The prosecutor, Kym Worthy is pushing for this in Detroit, in Wayne County, and if she can get a legislator to sponsor it, at the State level.

My initial reaction to this story was that it’s rather funny that they are so critical of homeschooling families, but here they are trying to mandate parents to come to a meeting at a public school just once a year.

My second reaction to this story was that this is sad and pathetic that there is even the need to put this kind of proposal on the table just to get parents involved in the lives of their children even for 30 minutes once a year.

My third reaction to this story was that this type of proposal is just another step in big government developing their case for taking over all care and indoctrination of the children of our country.

My final reaction to this story is that unfortunately, there are too many parents whose involvement with their children stops at biology, but threatening to lock them up if they don’t attend one parent-teacher conference each year is hardly going to change what kind of parent they are. Also, even if the parent does attend one conference each year, that is hardly going to change what kind of student that child is.

Bottom line? The children with uninvolved parents are the ones who suffer.



  1. This is sad on all sorts of levels. The state has no right to tell the parents how to parent, but the other way around.

    On the other hand, parents who don’t take involvement in their children’s education make me so sad. Someone once joked with me about not going to their child’s parent-teacher conference, saying that it was enough that they send their child to school. Umm, I don’t think so.

    • I also am always amazed with parents who can’t wait for school breaks to be over so they can “get rid of their kids”.

  2. Yeah, I don’t see this as a workable idea.

    On the other hand, I really hate these “student-led conferences” that are becoming trendy now. The idea is to have the students present information. To be honest, this is the conversation that should be happening over the dinner table every evening. Teachers have told me that parents love it, and one said, “It’s the best experience I’ve ever had with my son.” I suspect that this family eats supper on the couch in front of the TV …

    Anyway, that’s my thought, anyway.

    I agree about uninvolved parents, though. I hear comments about parents who want to get rid of their kids after school breaks and things like that … speaking as a dad who sees so very little of his elder boys, that makes me so sad and angry at the same time.

    • Hi Ken – I can’t imagine how hard that is for you. It is still just so hard for me to go to work everyday and leave Hannah just for the day.

  3. It’s hard enough to raise children in this day and age, so there is no sense in making it harder by not being involved in their lives and knowing what they are going through. Thirty minutes at a time, here and there, won’t get the job done. It has to be on a consistent basis, with the child knowing that the parents are interested and involved.

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