An acquaintance told me today that, in Idaho, it is a misdemeanor to intimidate a teacher, particularly in front of a student (Idaho State Statues 33-1222 and 18-916). He opined that these laws are used to intimidate parents and keep them from getting too involved in the education of their children. There is no way to determine what exactly “upbraids, insults or abuses” means. A misdemeanor could be as little as telling your child’s teacher your child wants to read Little House on the Prairie books rather than Harry Potter books.
The following story from a friend would have certainly been a misdemeanor. I know an interpreter in Washington state who was translating for a Hispanic woman (I think a field worker) at a parent teacher conference a few weeks ago. The woman was heartbroken and angry that her son’s teacher had not informed her of an upcoming sex education class (at least, not in English.). She was horrified when he came home (in a loose paraphrase) “knowing more than she ever wanted him to know” at that point in his life. She would have been arraigned and maybe even deported, separating her from her husband and children.
My acquaintance opined that “Parents could be a larger part of this picture with more organizations, they are the only part not organized…”
In response, I don’t think parents will ever be organized for three reasons:
First, the education establishment (school boards, unions, etc.) won’t like the addition of another player. They will be unwelcome competition for attention and money. Further, it takes money to create a parent network, but nobody in the current system will sponsor or help get it started.
Further, a system already exists to give parents an outlet and keep them under the watchful eye and control of the elites: these are the PTA’s. The PTA’s are simply a shill for the union and a tool to make sure parent’s don’t go too wild (like with school choice ideas.).
Second, parents have been trained for the past 50 years to not intervene in the education process. Their parents didn’t interfere and left it up to the state to educate their kids, so today’s parents have no reason to interfere as long as they think things are going smoothly.
Thirdly, people are lazy, including parents. Why are summer camps, after school programs and day care so popular? Because parents don’t have time for their children. My wife is a teacher and she opines about the lack of parental involvement and follow-up/reinforcement at home all the time.
Parents pay taxes for and expect the government to educate their children (and pay them when they’re unemployed, and provide universal healthcare, and… don’t get me started.). With such an entitlement mentality, parents will never intervene.