Wayne Smith, a congressman from the Houston-area, wants to submit legislation that will charge parents with a Class C misdemeanor and a $500 fine if they miss a scheduled meeting with their child's teacher. The article says:
“The bill, which is expected to be considered in the House Public Education
Committee… specifies that the parent has to receive written notice by certified
mail, listing at least three proposed dates for the parent-teacher
conference. A parent who ignores the notice or schedules a meeting but
fails to attend would face charges -- unless there was a valid reason for not
Valid reasons could include emergency quadruple-bypass, transfer to Iraq, or "Twilight Zone-athon Day on the sci-fi channel.”
I ask you -- how freakin’ great is this proposal? And my next question -- how freakin’ high are the odds that anything like this will EVER be passed??? I mean, come on, in a society where someone can spill hot coffee in their own lap and then sue the restaurant for millions of dollars; in a society where people are perfectly happy to ignore the Surgeon General's warning while they slowly poison themselves, but then blame the tobacco industry for killing them; in a society where Terrell Owens is viewed as anything other than a complete nitwit… Does anyone outside of a mental institution actually believe for a second that this same society would allow anyone to impose and enforce responsibility on them??
But you know, on the off chance that this pipe dream is actually realized, and the bill is posted through, I would like to suggest a rider. Choose some percentage of the imposed parental fine, and give it to the teacher who was stood up. If I had even half of a percent of $500 for every time I've had a parent no-show, I'd be rich! And I've only been teaching for four years!
And hey, if this thing should pass, let's not stop there. How about fines for parents who consistently bring their kids to school late? Misdemeanors for parents who register phone numbers that don't work? Jail time for parents who let their kids play video games without doing their homework?