Rockford School District Policies cuts out Parents
There are far too many instances where this takes place so for the sake of brevity and not to confuse too many people, let us concentrate on just one. I am speaking of the Office Discipline Referral Form. It is the policy of District 205 that a parent/guardian/caretaker must accompany the student back to school if they were suspended but this is after the suspension. Due Process says that you are innocent until proven guilty, so any reasonable parent must assume that if their child gets suspended, an investigation into the offense was properly done and presented to those who decide on suspension. If any reasonable parent assumes this, then they must also assume that their child or ward was exposed to this part of life without them being present to defend or supply a representative for their child or ward’s defense. This, in turn, teaches the child that they have no voice because those representing the petition to suspend are adults and will be believed long before them, violates that student’s rights to be properly represented and completely dismisses the parent/guardian/caretaker as if they are not really wanted or needed.
You want the parent/guardian/caretaker to get involved after you have already disciplined their child without their consent and you want them to be happy about it and support this action. I asked any of those who set these policies to honestly replace the parent/guardian/caretaker in this situation and truthfully say that this would be something you would be proud of. Allowance of a stranger to determine your child’s innocence or guilt and even worse yet their self-esteem, is not what reasonable parents/guardians/caretakers would call a good thing. I believe that any parent/guardian/caretaker would show more support to our educators and administrators if they felt more like their voices were being heard and heeded. If a parent were to show up at these presentations and defend their child, win or lose, everyone will leave that meeting feeling much better about the process. The student will not only feel the love but see it in action from the parent/guardian/caretaker, the parent/guardian/caretaker would be able to feel how being involved makes their child learn better and the administration will see just how well this policy can work.
This policy has got to change and allow true parental involvement before the suspension. Part 10 of this form states that parent/guardian/caretaker contacted but if your information reveals the wrong parent/guardian/caretaker or the contact phone numbers are incorrect, then you have not properly contacted or completed this task and the procedure must not continue until this is done. Now once you have made all parties aware of your intentions then you proceed to the hearing of this incident and like real court, if parent/guardian/caretaker or their representative does not show, you win by default. Maybe that’s why so much of the information found in the district’s computer system is erroneous, so that they can govern by default?