Parents Have Authority. Have Duties.
If you read carefully and slowly, what do you get from this excerpt from the Texas Family Code 151.001(a)?
A parent of a child has the following rights and duties…to direct the moral and religious training…and reasonable discipline of the child…the duty to support the child, including providing…education
To me, it sounds like the state of Texas gets how important Parents are. From character to manners to interpersonal skills and beyond, parents have not just the right, but the duty to direct their children in these areas.
In other words, those of us who choose to send our children to school (vs. homeschool) cannot totally abdicate our responsibility to "a system," and trust that our values and viewpoints will be passed on in the approved curriculum from ages 5 to 18.
It would be reasonable to have conversations, to ask questions.
In my experience, our public schools have been great, our teachers have been great, and we can believe that and, at the same time, not take a back seat. (Re-read that because I want that to be clear: Parental Involvement in education is NOT criticism of educators, but simply our right and our duty, as reflected in Texas law.)
How Well are We Doing as Parents?
On the duty to provide moral and religious training?
On the duty to discipline?
Providing support for our children in very basic ways?
Are there long-term consequences to expecting the schools to handle parental duties such as these? What do you think? Are we upholding our rights to form our children in the way we, the parents, see fit? Hopefully for most, the answer is yes. If it isn't, let this blog remind you of the Importance of Parents.
Be encouraged. I believe that when we are fully engaged, our children will have tangible proof that we care about their education and their moral development, which can only strengthen the parent-child relationship. Do you agree?
When my daughter was a baby, we went to San Diego and walked through soaring palm trees just like in this photo. I set her in the sand for the first time in her young life, then stepped away so my wife could take a photo.
Daughter promptly made a funny face and lifted her leg, not liking the texture of the sand. Though on vacation, I was never off-duty as her dad. I did what I could to help her to grow more comfortable with the sand. Too comfortable, because then her hand grabbed the sand, and up to the mouth it went.
Like a pelican, I swooped down and whisked her away to "experience the ocean water" aka rinse off her hands. Maybe I should have let her eat the sand, but guess what? It was MY parental choice to MAKE, and that's how I thought I could best protect her. -Steve
To read the full section of the family code go here: Texas Family Code 151.001(a). Remember, this blog is not legal advice, but hopefully it can make you aware of some things in Texas law related to parenting and education.
Part III will dive a little deeper into the importance of parents in public schools.