I sent this email today to respond to a posting about a principal who threatened a family with serious consequences if they stood in the way of their son completing a standardised test. The original post is here:http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com/2012/04/tell-bully-princi...
I hope you will look at the case and consider taking some action too.
Sadly what your vision statement lacks is the same respect, acceptance, celebration or valuing of parents. In fact it doesn't even mention parents.
You can hide behind rules if you like - I suppose your job depends on it to some degree - but it is more fundamental to recognise that parents, not legislators, have the primary responsibility for the education of their children, and for the choices of how and where that will happen.
So, I do not agree with your approach to student Joseph. It will do nothing for your attempts at forging a school-home partnership, especially if your approach is that the school is right and parents are wrong. This is an unequal partnership at best, and sounds quite hollow given your threats of intervention.
Sure, you have the 'discretion' to contact CPS, but equally you have the choice not to. If you want to work with parents, I would respectfully suggest that such an approach would be counterproductive.
More fundamentally, you are violating both the rights of Joseph and his parents. I refer you to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (a much higher authority than you quoted in your email). In particular, I would highlight:
(1) governments should respect the rights of parents in guiding their children (you do not)
(2) governments are to assist families in nurturing their children (you are trying to separate them)
(3) when making decisions, children have the right to say what they think should happen and have their opinion taken into account (did you even talk to Joseph?)
(4) children have a particular responsibility to respect the rights their parents, and education should aim to develop respect for the values and culture of their parents (if you don't respect their values, how much less will Joseph do so by following your example?)
I suggest you should re-consider your position, apologise to Joseph, his family, any other students and families you have abused, and, finally you should act as an advocate for families rather than their adversary by lobbying for them with legislators in your State who obviously are disregarding rights accepted by the US government on behalf of the country.
Gregory Quinlivan (Teacher, parent, and grandparent)."
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