Actually, NC Needs A Students’ Bill Of Rights.

With all of the talk about the rather misnamed “Parents’ Bill of Rights” legislation being rushed in the NC General Assembly, it seems obvious that the aim of those in Raleigh is to weaken public education even further.

To have a bill that literally says “to enumerate the rights of parents to DIRECT THE UPBRINGING, EDUCATION, HEALTH CARE, AND MENTAL HEALTH OF THEIR MINOR CHILDREN” lends itself to be interpreted as a making the public school system responsible for taking each parent’s wishes for his/her own child’s upbringing and making it part of an individualized education program that the parent gets to measure the effectiveness of.

That’s almost funny because in reality, parents already have the most control over public education. Yet this bill seems to also suggest that they do not have total control power their parenting and need educators to be some sort of surrogate in their stead.

Also ironic is that the same body of lawmakers who are trying to pass this “Parents’ Bill of Rights” took away the “Teachers’ Bill of Rights” when they abolished due-process rights for new teachers in 2014. In a Right to Work, At-Will state with horrible unemployment benefits and minuscule corporate taxes it seems that an “Employees’ Bill of Rights” was literally taken off the books.

But what about a “Students’ Bill of Rights”? One that allows students to have a say in their own lives. Don’t students have the right to a fully-funded public school system that is given ample resources to help each student to a quality education by respected professionals as outlined in a state constitution?

Wait, the NC State Constitution already stipulates that.

Don’t students have the right to benefit from the judicial decision in the LEANDRO case especially when it is being willfully ignored by the same body that is pushing this Parents’ Bill of Rights”?

And if anything, if the North Carolina General Assembly wants all parents to know everything about their children (how they identify, whom they associate with, what social media they peruse, or mental health struggles they have) but their children do not want to share with them, then maybe the NCGA needs to acknowledge that many of the deficits there are on the parents – not the public education system.

Unless they want to admit that the role of an educator is much more than what they consider to be a content delivery specialist who reports back to parents on nonacademic matters about students – a role that deserves the respect and recompense such a job already should be receiving.

But isn’t getting.