Thursday, October 11, 2007
Back-to-School Night/Parental Responsibility
Tonight is Back-to-School Night at the Senior High, so I will be following Number One Son's Wednesday class schedule. He has a full schedule this year, no study halls, as he was offered an internship to help produce the new Township Cable channel set to make its debut in December, that takes up 10 class periods per week. The school is allowing him to skip all gym and health classes for the year for the internship, which is quite a coup.
I've been thinking about parental responsibility this week, because of the school shooting in Ohio, and the local incident in Plymouth Whitemarsh. I thought I'd share a story related to my last year's Back-to-School night. This is nowhere near as serious as school shootings, but it explains how I feel about parental responsibility.
Last year, I went to his first period English class. Since I was the first parent to arrive, I had the chance to introduce myself to his teacher. So, after the introduction, his teacher says "So how is Steve feeling?" I sort of gave her a blank look, and she said "He hasn't been in class for the last two days, I assumed he was sick". When I said No, he wasn't sick, she said 'Oh, come to think of it, his friend Ben has also been out." I thanked her for mentioning it and began plotting my wrath.
Second period - Latin. I introduced myself and again heard "how is Steve feeling?". I indicated he was not out sick and I had been unaware that he was out. After that class, I went outside to leave a voicemail on his friend Ben's parents line. I wanted to make sure they were aware of what the boys were up to, excuse my grammar. I also called my son on his cell, and instructed him to get home forthwith and that he had to be there when I got home. After the fourth class, I was so mad that I just left.
In addition to being grounded for two weeks, a week for each day he missed, the next day I called the principal's office to let them know that he had cut school for two days. There was no way he was getting away with this. He ended up with 20 detentions during his lunch period, which amounted to a full month of no downtime at lunch. Poor You.
Bottom line, his only responsibility last year was to go to school and do well. What really got me, is that they picked the week of Back-to-School Night to do it. How dumb could they be? I guess they thought it wouldn't come up? Who knows? I monitored his attendence the remainder of the year, which is easy since it is all online.
I think the one thing that bothered me the most is that his friend's parents never called me back to say Thanks for letting us know. I'd like to think that I've always appreciated both positive and negative feedback about my kids.
Here's hoping for an uneventful Back-to-School night tonight!
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