Do Not Pass Go, Go Directly to Jail (If You Miss a Parent-Teacher Conference)
July 7, 2010
© Gabrielle Revere
Can you imagine being jailed for missing a parent teacher conference? In Detroit, that's Wayne County Prosecuter Kym Worthy's solution to the problem of uninvolved parents, low school attendance rates, and (sharply) increasing school violence.
If Worthy gets her way, parents will be required to choose a time and date to meet with their child's teacher once a year. If they miss the meeting, they will be given a second chance to set up another one within 14 days. If the second one is missed, parents will receive a letter about sanctions, which can include up to three days in jail. Parents with health concerns and or children with above average marks won't be considered for jail time. "I'm not interested in putting parents in jail if their children are high achievers," Worthy said.
True, the Detroit school system is suffering terribly, and Worthy’s obviously desperate to shock neglectful parents into paying some attention to their kids. But this doesn't seem like the right solution. If you have to threaten a parent with jail time just to meet with a teacher, there are likely much larger problems at home. Plus, taking moms and dads away from the home to serve jail time will only add to the chaos.
What do you think? Are there any Detroit moms or teachers out there who can give us some more personable insight?