Parents who play hooky

Texas parents who miss a parent-teaching conference could be guilty of a misdemeanor under a proposed law, reports the Dallas Morning News.

Rep. Wayne Smith, R-Baytown, said it is time for the state to crack down on Texans who are shirking their parental responsibilities by failing to meet with the teacher when their child is having academic or disciplinary problems.

. . . Under the bill, parents who miss a scheduled conference with a teacher could be charged with a Class C misdemeanor and fined up to $500. Parents could avoid prosecution if they have a “reasonable excuse” for failing to show up. State education officials or school districts would probably be left to define what’s reasonable but, for example, a medical emergency would probably suffice.

I’d bet school officials will be reluctant to threaten parents with prosecution if they plead work or child-care responsibilities. With so many valid excuses, the law is unenforceable.

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  1. wayne martin says:

    > Under the bill, parents who miss a scheduled conference
    > with a teacher could be charged with a Class C misdemeanor
    > and fined up to $500.

    Let’s review some of the bidding .. within the past month, we’ve seen laws proposed in California to: 1) outlaw spanking, 2) the incandescent electric light bulb, 3) cigarette smoking in you apartment (in Burlingame, Ca) and now in Texas: 4) missing a scheduled appointment with a teacher. Anybody seeing a pattern here? Far too much power in the hands of a small number of people very detached from the rest of us.

    By-the-way, notice there is no penalty for a teacher to blow off a scheduled meeting with a parent?

    Elected Representatives like this one should be recalled.

  2. Does this only apply to the government schools, or could it be used by a homeschooling mom who is having trouble getting hubby to sit down and talk about how their child is doing?

  3. As a prosecutor, I just SO look forward to spending my abundant amounts of spare time enforcing such a law. NOT.

  4. The thing that frustrates me about this is, this kind of a law is going to do nothing to change the attitudes underlying not-attending-conferences. If anything, it’ll make their attitude worse.

    (Not to mention the whole nanny-law concept of it.)

    As a teacher friend of mine has been known to sigh: the only parents who show up on parent-teacher open conference night are the ones I DON’T need to have a conference with…

  5. Sic Semper Tyrannis says:

    Would you schedule a meeting that could cost you $500 dollars if you had a flat tire?


  1. […] Jacobs is correct: The bill is unenforcable. It’s also, well, stupid. So the parents go to the conference to avoid being charged with a […]