Don't be surprised if the government claims custody of your children if you let it

Is it any surprise that school administrators see themselves as the foremost experts on children?

The victory of Glenn Youngkin for governor of Virginia delivered a clear message to government officials: treat parents with more respect. Parents are responsible for their children's welfare and education, and they have the right to be enraged when they are not. Parents, on the other hand, should evaluate how we got here and how they share at least some of the guilt.

Public schools have encroached on some essential family obligations for decades, from feeding children to providing health care and assisting with schoolwork. Is it any surprise that school administrators regard themselves as the ultimate authority on your kids?Consider how many children are being dropped off at schools before classes even begin, as early as 6:30 a.m. The children are supervised and provided a light breakfast. This program, referred to as "before care," allows parents to arrive at work early, which may be vital for parents who work early shifts. Parents who desire an early start to the day and a hassle- and kid-free morning utilize it as well.

Many parents appear to be content to let schools feed their children. The school lunch program, which was created to assist low-income families, now feeds any child, regardless of their financial situation. In fact, according to the School Lunch Association, 7.7 million students paid full price for a school lunch in 2019, meaning the child’s family did not qualify for a reduced or free school lunch.

The complete cost of a school meal varies, although it usually falls between $2.48 and $2.74 for elementary school and $2.74 for high school. Even with increased prices, it's enough to feed a youngster a basic dinner. Despite the fact that many parents could easily accomplish this themselves, some choose to have their children fed by the school since it is more convenient.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture also funds weekend, holiday, and summer meal programs. This is on top of the generous food assistance that’s already provided to needy families through various programs. During the COVID shutdown of schools, even wealthy moms partook of these free food giveaways, since the USDA waived all requirements to show enrollment in the school meal program.

Are you working late? It's not a problem! Most schools now provide "after care" programs, similar to "before care," so that parents may work late. Students that participate are usually fed and aided with their assignments. While not having to complete homework with your child may seem appealing, it also deprives parents of understanding what is being taught and how their child is progressing in school.

Students are even able to seek medical treatment without their parents’ consent. In Alexandria, Virginia, the high school’s “Teen Wellness Center” will alert parents if a child is seen for a cold, acne, or a few other minor illnesses. Parents, on the other hand, are not notified whether their kid is there for a pregnancy test, a sexually transmitted illness (including HIV) diagnosis and treatment, a birth control prescription, "behavior modification therapy," mental health counseling, or substance addiction counseling. These services are all provided free of charge, therefore there is no need for a student to notify their parents.

Those who argue for keeping children's medical treatment hidden from their parents sometimes raise worries about abuse as a result of a parent learning about their child's sexual behavior or the repercussions of such conduct. School administrators, on the other hand, appear unconcerned about the potential downsides of allowing a kid to negotiate these painful and potentially life-altering health situations without parental guidance.

When it comes to punishment, parents are rarely invited to the table. While schools used to be willing to contact parents, share information, and work as partners in setting kids on a better path, today, restorative justice programs cut out parents (and law enforcement), and reduce discipline to a performative joke.

If parents want to be valued by educators, they must cease delegating parenting responsibilities to others. Parents' case that they are the primary carers for their children has been damaged by entrusting these responsibilities to teachers and school administrators. I'm delighted parents are fighting for their rights, but they shouldn't have given up so much control over their children's upbringing to begin with.

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