First, teachers are not their students’ parents. Public schools, as I remember, were established primarily to teach children in academics for them to become educated and productive citizens. Morals, values and proper conduct in society were the responsibility of parents and family, aided by churches and supported by the schools.
However, now our schools are expected to assume more and more responsibilities of those of the home. Teachers already deal on a daily basis with many societal ills experienced by their students while still working to fulfill their primary job of teaching academics to all students. This places a greater strain both on time and resources on our schools.
In Helen Blocker-Adams’ June 17 column regarding characteristics and examples of successful single fathers (“In changing society, more single dads stand up for their children”), good parenting is exactly what is needed in reaching so many of our students today –
not just single dads but any other type of parental structure.
Second, I sympathize with Mr. Palmer and his frustration with the vulgarity in his neighborhood; however, teachers and other school personnel also are frustrated with this behavior. Vulgarity has become all too common in our society along with a general disrespect of authority.
Public schools can support good behavior in society, but they cannot be a substitute for the home, which is the first and primary source for installing appropriate values and behavior in children.
(The writer is the District 10 at-large representative for the Richmond County Board of Education.)