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Parents should be notified first

It comes up often when something "controversial" is brought up in a classroom, some people insist it's not appropriate to discuss certain things unless parents are notified first. Where does your "right" to be informed begin and end? If your child has a GLBT classmate, do you have the right to be informed that this child exists? If your child has a classmate with married gay or lesbian parents, do you have a right to be informed this family exists? If your child has a classmate who was taught about reproduction in pre-school, was raised by teen parents, or is a teen parent herself, do you have a right to be informed? If your child has a classmate whose parent is a politician, do you have a right to be informed? If your child has a classmate who is disabled, practices an alternative religion, has divorced parents, is related to a drug addict or lives in a home where co-sleeping and extended breast feeding are practiced, do you have a right to be informed about this child's family life?

Why should parents expect to be informed when a classroom is discussing something that may, in fact, be a normal and recurring aspect of another student's life, simply because you've sheltered your own child from the existence of such things?

homosexuality, divorce, sex, rape, world cultures, world religions, biology, anatomy, politics, media, violence, death

These are all things that may have been witnessed, experienced or in some way had a large impact on the lives of others in the room. Why the insistence on "parental notification" for having the audacity to mention the real world in the classroom? Is it not your job, as a parent, to be prepared for ANY question at ANY time, whether the school sends you a letter or not?

Answer Question
 
NotPanicking

Asked by NotPanicking at 11:01 AM on Sep. 17, 2013 in Parenting Debate

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
Answers (45)
  • In answer to your final question: YES.

    Doesn't matter whether you think you're ready for a topic to be discussed. Life happens at a pace that everything will happen before you're ready for it.
    gdiamante

    Answer by gdiamante at 11:08 AM on Sep. 17, 2013

  • I want informed when anything is questionable pertaining to the curriculum being used. Has nothing to do with sheltering my kids, I just want to know what the hell is going on at the school. When something may raise more questions that get answered, I would like to be prepared to handle it at home. It's a lot easier asking mom some things, or at least, it should be. I realize it's not like this in every household, but that's how it is for us.
    Ginger0104

    Answer by Ginger0104 at 11:12 AM on Sep. 17, 2013

  • I want informed when anything is questionable pertaining to the curriculum being used

    A gay student asks a question when they're reading a story that describes a traditional family. Is that "questionable"? Should the teacher not answer the question without sending a note home to you?
    NotPanicking

    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 11:15 AM on Sep. 17, 2013

  • If it has to do with the curriculum then I think the parents need to be informed, but if it is something that simply "comes up" because of other students in the classroom that is a different story.
    aeneva

    Answer by aeneva at 11:16 AM on Sep. 17, 2013

  • that is a different story.

    How is it different?
    NotPanicking

    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 11:18 AM on Sep. 17, 2013

  • it's school
    the purpose of school is to educate
    don't like the education the child is receiving (curriculum based or otherwise) find an alternative form of education

    (violation of laws not withstanding)
    feralxat

    Answer by feralxat at 11:27 AM on Sep. 17, 2013

  • This is a gray area. I try not to shelter my kids too much, but I'm pretty sure I do, at least some. I would want to know about something coming up that may not be part of a "traditional" curriculum. Why? so I could get myself ready for any questions my kid(s) may have about said subject. And, if necessary, talk with my kid(s) about it a little bit beforehand so they understand what's going to be happening.

    Like aeneva said though, if it's a spontaneous question that a child asked while talking about a different, related subject I would just like a note home letting me know that XYZ came up in class today. My son is a master at asking awkward, slightly embarrassing questions on the spur of the moment. He has no filter between mouth and brain.

    I'm pretty open-minded about a lot of things. And if it's something I don't really like, I can at least try to agree to disagree.
    Rosehawk

    Answer by Rosehawk at 11:28 AM on Sep. 17, 2013

  • If parents feel that way, then they should keep their kids home from school OR send their child to a private school with like minded people.

    We openly discuss anything and everything our kids come to us with. Even if we do not agree with what it is. We tell our kids our views and we remind them to be respectful of others and their views.

    I grew up in a very sheltered home and I won't do that to my kids.
    SleepingBeautee

    Answer by SleepingBeautee at 11:32 AM on Sep. 17, 2013

  • how does one "prepare" themselves?
    i.e.
    Johnny has two mommies- is the parent sitting at home researching the difference between gay relationships and straight relationships?

    Mary has a non Abrahamic belief system- is the parent learning all they can about every religion that is not based in the Abrahamic belief system?
    feralxat

    Answer by feralxat at 11:37 AM on Sep. 17, 2013

  • When it's planned the school is fully aware that it may raise more questions than answers. When it's something that just happens to come up, it's unrealistic to expect to be given a heads up.

    A lot of subjects don't have research available, which is fine. I just prefer not to be blind-sided and risk saying something wrong.
    Ginger0104

    Answer by Ginger0104 at 11:43 AM on Sep. 17, 2013

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