Should Parents be Required to Volunteer at School?

Filed under: Opinions

classroomOne of the benefits of working from home is having a flexible schedule. Not only does this allow me to take care of my personal business during business hours, it gives me the opportunity to volunteer at Ellie's school on a regular basis. This, along with the option of wearing my pajamas all day, is why I chose to drop out of the nine-to-five grind and set up shop in my home.

I know how lucky I am to be able to do this because it wasn't always this way. When my now-27-year-old daughter was growing up, I was firmly entrenched in the rat race and rarely set foot in her school during the day. It wasn't that I didn't want to be involved, my work just didn't allow me the freedom to do so. Had she attended a school like this one in Indianapolis, my inability to volunteer at her school likely would have resulted in her getting kicked out.

Indianapolis Public School 57 not only recognizes the value of parental involvement in education, they mandate it. It is a fundamental school, which sounds a bit like a charter school -- meaning they receive public money and follow the standard curriculum, but can make up their own rules about certain things. Among their rules: parents must sign their children's homework every day, must volunteer at the school, and must respond to teachers' calls or notes within 24 hours. Failure to abide by these rules can result in the child being kicked out of school.

While some students attend this school because they live within its boundaries and are automatically assigned there, there are other schools they can be transferred to. And some of them have -- by choice or by force.

Other than the required volunteering, the rules sound like things parents should be doing anyway. But penalizing a student because their parent's schedule does not allow them to volunteer seems unfair. What do you think?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.