Kids - Ours or the communities?

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AlyssaEimers's picture
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Kids - Ours or the communities?

MSNBC Host Melissa Harris-Perry ? All Your Kids Belong To Us - YouTube

Do you believe that your children are your personal responsibility, the communities?

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
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I am going to be a fence sitter here. I think both. Ultimately they are mine, and until they are at least 18 (or a lot longer IMO) every decision they make is a reflection of me. The community needs to foster a positive place for kids to be.

Joined: 03/08/03
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I know what she's saying, and it's being twisted and taken out of context. She's trying to say that when we view children as the future of society, we will invest in their education and their future. She's not saying parents shouldn't be responsible for their own children, she's saying we need to think bigger than ME and MINE and think about all the kids who need an education, for the future of us all.

And I agree with that.

AlyssaEimers's picture
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I believe my children are mine and DH's responsibility. I think the community is there to help, but should not try to raise other people's children.

ClairesMommy's picture
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I'm a firm believer in the adage "It takes a village to raise a child". I agree that children are their parents' legal responsibility, but I totally agree with what she's saying about making better investments in OUR futures when we as a community take responsibility for the education of our kids. Totally agree.

AlyssaEimers's picture
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I think this is a big fundamental difference when it comes to some of the opinions on this board. I believe (with the exception of abuse and neglect) that a parent is the ultimate authority when it comes to their children. They should make all decisions in regards to where to send their child to school, whether or not to vaccinate, how to discipline (again, with the exception of abuse that has been investigated by CPS), and other parenting choices.

ClairesMommy's picture
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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I think this is a big fundamental difference when it comes to some of the opinions on this board. I believe (with the exception of abuse and neglect) that a parent is the ultimate authority when it comes to their children. They should make all decisions in regards to where to send their child to school, whether or not to vaccinate, how to discipline (again, with the exception of abuse that has been investigated by CPS), and other parenting choices.

Bonita, I don't think anyone will dispute the parents' right to do all those things you mention.

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"ClairesMommy" wrote:

Bonita, I don't think anyone will dispute the parents' right to do all those things you mention.

Through my time on this board, I have found people that feel there should be laws regulating many parenting decisions. (Vaccines should be mandatory, circumcision should not be allowed, spanking should be illegal, homeschooling should be illegal and so on)

ClairesMommy's picture
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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

Through my time on this board, I have found people that feel there should be laws regulating many parenting decisions. (Vaccines should be mandatory, circumcision should not be allowed, spanking should be illegal, homeschooling should be illegal and so on)

So what does the video have to do with any of those topics? Do you want to debate, in general, who has the right/responsibility to legislate those things, i.e. vaccinations, spanking, etc. or how 'intrusive' the govt has become in a parent's right to educate/vax/homeschool?

I did not realize you did not want to specifically debate the OP.

Joined: 03/08/03
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I think what's happening across the web is that her comment is being interpreted to be about every decision parents make. She's talking about public schools and how we should all care about all of them, and not just be focused on OUR children and nobody else's. Bonita -- she doesn't mention any of the things you talk about, nor did anyone else on this thread.

Spacers's picture
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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

I know what she's saying, and it's being twisted and taken out of context. She's trying to say that when we view children as the future of society, we will invest in their education and their future. She's not saying parents shouldn't be responsible for their own children, she's saying we need to think bigger than ME and MINE and think about all the kids who need an education, for the future of us all.

And I agree with that.

I totally & wholeheartedly agree with this. I look at some of my neighbors who spend $30K a year on private school because the local public school doesn't offer art, music, or more than an hour a week of PE. Sure, their kids are benefitting from that investment, but just imagine what $30K could do for all of the 250 kids at our neighborhood school. That's weekly art classes for every student! The private school requires a time investment from each family of 20 hours per semester. Imagine what the local public school could do with a few parents willing to make that commitment! Our kids need safe places to study & play after school. Hiring a sitter satisfies that for you & your kids, but what about pooling resources together and supporting a neighborhood space for *all* of the kids? Things like that can make a huge difference for another child and don't cost more than what these people are already willing to pay to make a difference for their own kids. I can't afford to donate money to our school, but DH & I donate a lot of our time because it benefits all the kids, not just our own.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

MSNBC Host Melissa Harris-Perry ? All Your Kids Belong To Us - YouTube

Do you believe that your children are your personal responsibility, the communities?

I agree with Laurie. This woman is not literally saying that our individual children are the communities responsibility to raise, LOL. Of course our children are first and foremost my husband and my responsibility. And of course having a healthy and strong community helps foster that. Of course having sound schools, (for us) our immediate family simply miles away, and a huge community of friends helps us raise our children more easily. Of course having safe playgrounds, arboretums, zoos, aquariums, safe clean beaches, mountains and ski areas, clean pools or clubs for our children to enjoy and make friends at.....all of that makes our job as parents WAY easier. Of course a strong economy where families have choices ~ where parents can have a person at home with their children if that is what they want or they can afford a nanny or they can afford to work reasonable hours, or whatever it is that they want to do to make the family life that they want. An economy where parents can buy their children the things that they need, where they can afford to feed their family healthy foods, where they can afford to supplement their kids educations with educational camps or sports camps or language or arts or music or theatre camps etc.....ALL of that is about community.

Bonita I'm not sure how homeschooling or a kids penis is related to the debate question.

I would say that I think that having well educated children is essential to having a good community. I would never want homeschooling to be illegal, but I do think that having parents who are not well equipped to homeschool, ie are not well educated or are not good teachers, is doing their children, and subsequently our entire community/nation a disservice. I would say that people who hit their children are more likely to raise violent children, which does not benefit our community. Vaccinations help save lives, and herd immunity is real, so yes, people who choose to not vaccinate their children do weaken our community and needlessly reintroduce illness to the old and infirm and lead to pockets of disease, needlessly. Of course that is not good for the community as a whole, right?

ClairesMommy's picture
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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I think this is a big fundamental difference when it comes to some of the opinions on this board. I believe (with the exception of abuse and neglect) that a parent is the ultimate authority when it comes to their children. They should make all decisions in regards to where to send their child to school, whether or not to vaccinate, how to discipline (again, with the exception of abuse that has been investigated by CPS), and other parenting choices.

Of course, by the strictest sense of the word 'authority'. However, if we also want to talk about being an 'authority' on a particular subject, I am definitely not an authority on everything when it comes to parenting. I'm a good parent, but I don't pretend to know more or be wiser than someone else on a topic related to parenting. Heck, I welcome smart, fair, unbiased people to teach my kids stuff, even without my permission. It's not simply about a child learning something from someone else, it's also about a child understanding that their parents' opinions aren't the ONLY opinions out there, and for the child to then formulate their own opinion. I don't expect my kids to have identical opinions and ideals and stuff as I do.

AlyssaEimers's picture
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"We have this notion that you kid is yours and totally your responsibility. We have not had a very collective notion of these are our children. We have to break through this notion that kids belong to their parents, and realize kids belong to whole communities..."

After reading all of your commits I went back and rewatched the video and tried to write out the words as well as I could. I first saw the link on FB with outrage surrounding it and have seen it several times since. I did not express what I was trying to say very well so I will try again. The idea that children belong to the "Community" and not the parents is a communist idea. I am very against this. Kids do belong to their parents. And should make all decisions regarding their children. While the link in the OP was talking about education, the principle applies to parenting overall and all aspects of it. Either parents are in control of their children or they are not.

Joined: 03/08/03
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Bonita. What she's trying to say is that we should all invest in children, in the future generation, not that we should take away parental rights and choices. She's talking about public education. And she's saying that we are responsible for all children, not just our own. She never suggested any of those things the "outrage" is about.

bunnyfufu's picture
Joined: 10/21/05
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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

"We have this notion that you kid is yours and totally your responsibility. We have not had a very collective notion of these are our children. We have to break through this notion that kids belong to their parents, and realize kids belong to whole communities..."

After reading all of your commits I went back and rewatched the video and tried to write out the words as well as I could. I first saw the link on FB with outrage surrounding it and have seen it several times since. I did not express what I was trying to say very well so I will try again. The idea that children belong to the "Community" and not the parents is a communist idea. I am very against this. Kids do belong to their parents. And should make all decisions regarding their children. While the link in the OP was talking about education, the principle applies to parenting overall and all aspects of it. Either parents are in control of their children or they are not.

I think I understand what you are saying. And while I agree that I and my hubby are the primary source of everything for our kids, I disagree that it is 100% like that. Nor would I like it to be.

Two thoughts:

First, it's akin to the argument that a person who chooses to never have children, should not give one whit of concern to maternity/family leave. That people who are parents can just suck it on this social issue. I find fault in it because, that single childless individual was at some point a child themselves. Super-duper short-sighted. Somebody has to make the people and take care of them. It's part of how society works.

And second, in a society, be it capitalist or otherwise we have all kinds of agreements. Such as; How to be polite, Cleanliness standards, Acceptable business practices, simple exchanges and agreements about boundaries. I think that what is acceptable for a sense of public education falls under those agreements as well. It's how we insure that the next generation meets at least the minimum of the other 'agreements' I mentioned, plus many more.

I read this debate earlier and was kind of surprised by your assertion that you, "think this is a big fundamental difference when it comes to some of the opinions on this board."

I don't think it is that at all. I think that there are some real and serious fault lines where individuals are so sanctimoniously sure of the righteousness of their positions (both on the left and right) that they end up in the snarky extremes and just gross each other out for fun.

AlyssaEimers's picture
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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

Bonita. What she's trying to say is that we should all invest in children, in the future generation, not that we should take away parental rights and choices. She's talking about public education. And she's saying that we are responsible for all children, not just our own. She never suggested any of those things the "outrage" is about.

I do not know anything about the woman in the video. The only thing I have to go on is the clip I watched. It is very possible that she did not mean it how it came across to many. I know it is easy to be misunderstood.

"bunnyfufu" wrote:

I think I understand what you are saying. And while I agree that I and my hubby are the primary source of everything for our kids, I disagree that it is 100% like that. Nor would I like it to be.

Two thoughts:

First, it's akin to the argument that a person who chooses to never have children, should not give one whit of concern to maternity/family leave. That people who are parents can just suck it on this social issue. I find fault in it because, that single childless individual was at some point a child themselves. Super-duper short-sighted. Somebody has to make the people and take care of them. It's part of how society works.

And second, in a society, be it capitalist or otherwise we have all kinds of agreements. Such as; How to be polite, Cleanliness standards, Acceptable business practices, simple exchanges and agreements about boundaries. I think that what is acceptable for a sense of public education falls under those agreements as well. It's how we insure that the next generation meets at least the minimum of the other 'agreements' I mentioned, plus many more.

I read this debate earlier and was kind of surprised by your assertion that you, "think this is a big fundamental difference when it comes to some of the opinions on this board."

I don't think it is that at all. I think that there are some real and serious fault lines where individuals are so sanctimoniously sure of the righteousness of their positions (both on the left and right) that they end up in the snarky extremes and just gross each other out for fun.

Thank you for posting so kindly.

I am not saying that no one else should care about a child. I care about many children that are not my own. There are two varying opinions on a parents role. Take for instance the other thread on the morning after pill. I believe a parent should have a say in all of their child's medical decisions until age 18 unless a judge rules them an unfit parent. That includes what medications (or pills) they take. Obviously there are many that disagree. I am not trying to siderail the debate, just to say there are some that believe that the parents are the authority in their childrens lives, and others believe the "community" or common good is the authority.

ClairesMommy's picture
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Bonita, I haven't read where anyone thinks the common good is better than the parents' right to make certain decisions. I also think that the terms 'community' and 'common good' aren't interchangeable.

I live in a much more socialist country than you. Here (and trust me, some people are pretty un-socialist) there is just a way of life that we all contribute, in one way or another, to the collective benefit of each other, whether we fundamentally believe in what we're supporting or not. That is the way of socialism. And aside from the financial aspect of higher taxes and so forth, I guess there's less of an air of 'Not my kid so why should I care?' IDK. It's hard to explain. Can Kyla or Fuschia or another Canadian help me out with what I'm getting at? I don't want to come across like Americans are too me me me and to heck with you all, because I know darned well that's an unfair generalization, but I do definitely feel like a substantial percentage of Americans are extremely capitalistic and don't want to contribute one extra hard-earned red cent to a program they may not necessarily support, or to caring about what type of curriculum might not just benefit their child, but the classroom or school as a whole.

AlyssaEimers's picture
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"ClairesMommy" wrote:

I live in a much more socialist country than you. Here (and trust me, some people are pretty un-socialist) there is just a way of life that we all contribute, in one way or another, to the collective benefit of each other, whether we fundamentally believe in what we're supporting or not. That is the way of socialism. And aside from the financial aspect of higher taxes and so forth, I guess there's less of an air of 'Not my kid so why should I care?' IDK. It's hard to explain. Can Kyla or Fuschia or another Canadian help me out with what I'm getting at? I don't want to come across like Americans are too me me me and to heck with you all, because I know darned well that's an unfair generalization, but I do definitely feel like a substantial percentage of Americans are extremely capitalistic and don't want to contribute one extra hard-earned red cent to a program they may not necessarily support, or to caring about what type of curriculum might not just benefit their child, but the classroom or school as a whole.

I do not disagree with you that there is a different world view. I would say there are several (IMO of what you can know of someone on-line) on this board that while American have more of a Socialist or "Community" POV, There are others, who have a different POV. I am not saying either is better than the other. That is what I meant by this being one of the dividing parts of the board.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I do not disagree with you that there is a different world view. I would say there are several (IMO of what you can know of someone on-line) on this board that while American have more of a Socialist or "Community" POV, There are others, who have a different POV. I am not saying either is better than the other. That is what I meant by this being one of the dividing parts of the board.

What exactly is it you want to debate? The MAP still but on another thread? Or circumcision/homeschooling/spanking/vaccinations? Or several posters on this board? Or the debate topic you posted? I'm not being snarky, I'm genuinely confused as to what it is you are intending to debate, or if you are just trying to have a discussion, or if you are just intending to talk about your feelings about certain posters, or what. Could you please try to clarify?

Joined: 08/17/04
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I think I'm missing something.

First, no one is taking away your authority as a mother because now MAP is available without a prescription for all women seeking them. The government or community is NOT telling your child they must seek this out. You still get to be the parent and set the limits in your home. If I would prefer my daughters not use tampons because of the TSS risk I can teach them and guide them but they get to still go down to CVS or Target and buy them..don't they?

Second, I don't think saying our kids belong to the community is a bad thing. They do and they should. We need to be investing in our children and more than I see currently. Helping public school systems so all of our kids get a great education, not just those in high income suburbs and private schools. Making sure money is set aside for Rec programs in town benefits everyone etc. This is what I took from saying the kids belong to the community.

I don't quite understand where you get the idea that because we are okay with teens being able to purchase the MAP without hassle equals that we've given up parenting to the community. I think that might be what you are getting at?

KimPossible's picture
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"Spacers" wrote:

I totally & wholeheartedly agree with this. I look at some of my neighbors who spend $30K a year on private school because the local public school doesn't offer art, music, or more than an hour a week of PE. Sure, their kids are benefitting from that investment, but just imagine what $30K could do for all of the 250 kids at our neighborhood school. That's weekly art classes for every student! The private school requires a time investment from each family of 20 hours per semester. Imagine what the local public school could do with a few parents willing to make that commitment! Our kids need safe places to study & play after school. Hiring a sitter satisfies that for you & your kids, but what about pooling resources together and supporting a neighborhood space for *all* of the kids? Things like that can make a huge difference for another child and don't cost more than what these people are already willing to pay to make a difference for their own kids. I can't afford to donate money to our school, but DH & I donate a lot of our time because it benefits all the kids, not just our own.

Stuff like this doesn't take just money it takes time and planning. Who wants to donate their child's education for the hopes that someone will appropriately execute these ideas that you are throwing out here?

I agree with the message as a whole, but i don't think the solution is to make everyone who doesn't like their public school and would send their kid to private school to blindly throw that money to the public school system instead.

I send Emma to private school. The others go to the local public school. Even knowing that some of that money i spent on Emma's education would theoretically reach my own kids in public school, i still wouldn't just want to donate it. Thats asking me to sacrifice a lot with no guarantee of good returns for anyone.

Solutions have to be a lot better planned, organized and structured than wealthier people just throwing whatever money they may invest on their own child into a public system. And i don't think that 'every child is our child' means that you put every childs priorities above your own child's.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
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And I'll be totally honest...we stopped sending the other kids to private school because of the financial cost. however when we stopped sending Aodhan and Lillian, i probably could have taken some of what i was spending on their private education and given it to the public schools, but i didn't. I wanted to use it on my own family, to enrich our lives and plan better for our future. If i had it to do over again...i'd do the same. I don't know...maybe i don't agree with the message in the video afterall. I'm not so keen on sacrificing my abilities to enrich my own kids lives on a whim and a prayer that it might be effectively used on someone elses kid.

Like it sounds nice when verbalized....but i guess in reality i don't look down on anyone who decides to spend their money on their own kids.

Joined: 03/08/03
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I am a bit confused as well. Are we debating this woman and what she said when discussing the public school system? I see her being accused of all sorts of ideas all over the web that she doesn't seem to have. She doesn't want to take away parental authority.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
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I do not give the money I spend on private school to the public school so other kids could take a class or have an extra PE day. In fact, I would argue that those of us that send our kids to private are doing a huge good deed for public school. I still pay taxes to the schools, but my kids are not taking up the 3 spots they would be.

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

"ClairesMommy" wrote:

Bonita, I haven't read where anyone thinks the common good is better than the parents' right to make certain decisions. I also think that the terms 'community' and 'common good' aren't interchangeable.

I live in a much more socialist country than you. Here (and trust me, some people are pretty un-socialist) there is just a way of life that we all contribute, in one way or another, to the collective benefit of each other, whether we fundamentally believe in what we're supporting or not. That is the way of socialism. And aside from the financial aspect of higher taxes and so forth, I guess there's less of an air of 'Not my kid so why should I care?' IDK. It's hard to explain. Can Kyla or Fuschia or another Canadian help me out with what I'm getting at? I don't want to come across like Americans are too me me me and to heck with you all, because I know darned well that's an unfair generalization, but I do definitely feel like a substantial percentage of Americans are extremely capitalistic and don't want to contribute one extra hard-earned red cent to a program they may not necessarily support, or to caring about what type of curriculum might not just benefit their child, but the classroom or school as a whole.

Well, you are in Alberta, so there is a huge difference in the school system and how it is perceived I think. Here in BC I dont see people caring about other children's education at all. All I see is cuts, cuts, cuts. I am a teacher in the public school system and I would send my kids to private school if it was available and I could afford it. I truly believe that every child deserves a good education and it is our responsibility to make sure they get it. I just dont see that happening right now.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6545

"Potter75" wrote:

What exactly is it you want to debate?

When I posted the original thread, I was thinking who has the ultimate authority on a child. The parents, or the community. The debate can be whatever the other people debating it want to be.

Joined: 03/08/03
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I don't think it's about giving money to the public schools. Who does that, on an individual level?

I also think that if the public schools around you are terrible, then of course you send your kids to private school. We must look out for our own kids, no one's suggesting we abdicate responsibility.

But we, collectively, should think bigger. Think about our kids as a generation instead of just grabbing what we can for ourselves. Work with other parents towards better programs in our public schools.

I am lucky to live in a community where parents are very involved (sometimes over-involved I think but that's another debate). We have a lunchtime enrichment program that parents contribute to, the PTA funds a ton of activities as well as supplies for the classrooms, they do fundraisers for smartboards, etc. Some contribute time instead of money.

I don't have a practical answer for how to fix the system, but I think step one is a shift in thinking, which is exactly what she's talking about.

Joined: 08/17/04
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I agree with what Laurie has said.

For your question, authority is on the parents. Although, authority always sounds so negative to me. My goal is not to control my kids it is to guide them in their decision making. I have the authority to do things though like give them permission to go to a friend's house or not or what we're having for dinner etc. I don't plan to run my kids lives.

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"mom3girls" wrote:

In fact, I would argue that those of us that send our kids to private are doing a huge good deed for public school. I still pay taxes to the schools, but my kids are not taking up the 3 spots they would be.

I don't really agree with this. I don't see it as like some Mother Theresa sort of saintly great deed for parents who have resources and means to take their children out of the Public school system and enroll them in private schools. Schools need a lot more than parents tax dollars, they need PTO money, and fundraising money, and involved volunteers to make a public school successful. We are so blessed to have a 75% parental involvement rate at our children's public school ~ it is a huge part of what makes their school a great one. I don't feel any special gratitude for parents who send their children to private school but pay their taxes because they are required to.

I've also never, ever, met anyone, in the entire world, who would say that their community has the final say in parenting. I guess that is why I don't understand the debate.

bunnyfufu's picture
Joined: 10/21/05
Posts: 203

"Potter75" wrote:

I've also never, ever, met anyone, in the entire world, who would say that their community has the final say in parenting. I guess that is why I don't understand the debate.

I keep puzzling on it too. Having choices (in re to MAP or anything else) doesn't limit anybody else's ability to parent. I just don't get that. There is no agenda that I can see here. And in fact, is kind of a reverse thinking. . .

I have heard concern about nanny state mentality of the left, but in the case of MAP, asking the gov to limit access seems very nanny-state-ish, KWIM?

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3303

"Potter75" wrote:

I don't really agree with this. I don't see it as like some Mother Theresa sort of saintly great deed for parents who have resources and means to take their children out of the Public school system and enroll them in private schools. Schools need a lot more than parents tax dollars, they need PTO money, and fundraising money, and involved volunteers to make a public school successful. We are so blessed to have a 75% parental involvement rate at our children's public school ~ it is a huge part of what makes their school a great one. I don't feel any special gratitude for parents who send their children to private school but pay their taxes because they are required to.

I see both sides to this. I mean what a pupil costs to educate, is nowhere near equivalent to what one single family brings to a school through volunteer work and fundraising. So I'm pretty sure kids not going to a school..and losing their parents contribution with it is still a net positive for a school that overall, has good parent participation rates.

At the same time, i don't think this would be anyone's primary reason for sending their kids to private school. It certainly wasn't mine. I don't think they should necessarily be praised for doing so...its just a side effect.

KimPossible's picture
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You know...i'd like to say one more thing about the notion of choosing private school when you could use that disposable income to provide for other kids. How does one justify using ANY disposable income for your own family or to do anything but provide for other peoples kids. I'm not sure why we are targeting parents who send their kids to private school. I mean parents spend their disposable income on much more frivolous things and less beneficial things than an excellent education for their child, surely they could give that up and donate it to the school. Can you tell that post has me a little bit ruffled? Smile

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"KimPossible" wrote:

You know...i'd like to say one more thing about the notion of choosing private school when you could use that disposable income to provide for other kids. How does one justify using ANY disposable income for your own family to do anything but provide for other peoples kids. I'm not sure why we are targeting parents who send their kids to private school. I mean parents spend their disposable income on much more frivolous things and less beneficial things than an excellent education for their child, surely they could give that up and donate it to the school. Can you tell that post has me a little bit ruffled? Smile

Maybe I'm being incredibly idealistic about this in an unrealistic way, but I don't think it's about not sending your kids to private school in the immediate future. I think it's about us, as a society, and how we view public education. It should be something vital to the growth of the country and of generations to come, so that everybody has opportunities, not just those lucky/rich/scholarship-smart enough to go to private schools.

But I'm obviously not being concrete about these things, because I don't think I have the specific knowledge to dig all that deeply.

KimPossible's picture
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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

Maybe I'm being incredibly idealistic about this in an unrealistic way, but I don't think it's about not sending your kids to private school in the immediate future. I think it's about us, as a society, and how we view public education. It should be something vital to the growth of the country and of generations to come, so that everybody has opportunities, not just those lucky/rich/scholarship-smart enough to go to private schools.

But I'm obviously not being concrete about these things, because I don't think I have the specific knowledge to dig all that deeply.

No i hear you, and i agree with you. I think we need to value the education of our children more and be willing, as a society, to put more towards creating good environments for our kids. I just didn't agree with Stacey's example. I don't think a wealthier family's choice to send their kids to a private school needs to be sacrificed in order to show that they support their local public school and want it to be a good place.

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Posts: 4780

"KimPossible" wrote:

No i hear you, and i agree with you. I think we need to value the education of our children more and be willing, as a society, to put more towards creating good environments for our kids. I just didn't agree with Stacey's example. I don't think a wealthier family's choice to send their kids to a private school needs to be sacrificed in order to show that they support their local public school and want it to be a good place.

I agree with you 100%. Its silly to make private school the differentiator :). A family could pay 200K in taxes, donate 50K in charity, pay 25K to private school .....but be "bad" vs a family who does not make enough to pay federal income taxes, does not donate to charity, and sends their children to public school? that is silly.

I also think that it is silly to send ones children to private school because the private school is a better education or is religious and that is important to you and then act like you are doing it as a favor to the public schools. Come on!

We send our kids to public school now.....but its been a battle between my husband and I. He wants them in private. I'm winning so far....but with the caveat that we will switch them over in middle school. They will be going to a Friends school. And no, it isn't because we are doing a favor to the public schools, in fact I feel terrible guilt over taking them out of the public system, as I believe in public education and I believe that the public system benefits from having engaged, active and financially able families like us IN the system. I also feel guilty about what we will be spending to send out kids to this school. BUT, I believe that the education that they will get there will be world class, and at the end of the day that will be great for my kids. And at the end of the day, we contribute to the world by volunteering in our local community, by donating to causes we believe in, but we also want what is best for our own children. I think that that is pretty normal, don't you?

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1530

We dont send our kids to private as a good deed. We send them because the education level is almost twice as what the public school we are zoned for is able to do. My comment was a little tongue in cheek response to people that think people should donate the money they could send in private cost to public school to make it better.

We work as a family to make the community better in other ways, outside of the public school system. I dont believe the school system should be shouldered with all the burden of educating our kids and making society a better place. They are out of school for a lot of hours, Dh and I do things after school to help other kids.

bunnyfufu's picture
Joined: 10/21/05
Posts: 203

"mom3girls" wrote:

We dont send our kids to private as a good deed. We send them because the education level is almost twice as what the public school we are zoned for is able to do. My comment was a little tongue in cheek response to people that think people should donate the money they could send in private cost to public school to make it better.

We work as a family to make the community better in other ways, outside of the public school system. I dont believe the school system should be shouldered with all the burden of educating our kids and making society a better place. They are out of school for a lot of hours, Dh and I do things after school to help other kids.

It shouldn't be all of the influence, of course! But don't you think it is a large influencer of society?

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1530

"bunnyfufu" wrote:

It shouldn't be all of the influence, of course! But don't you think it is a large influencer of society?

Absolutely! I see a lot of families that want schools to teach their kids everything and I dont see this as beneficial. I think as a community we could do a lot after school and let schools lighten the burden a bit. I help with a program that teaches how to garden after schools, the teachers in our district felt like there was a need for this, but they had no time. I love helping, the kids love learning, and what a great lifelong lesson that didnt have to come from school

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4087

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

When I posted the original thread, I was thinking who has the ultimate authority on a child. The parents, or the community.

The parents, no question. But as someone else said, sometimes it takes a village. Parenting on the playground, for example, I see as generally something of a team effort. If my kid is leaning over the edge of the slide, I appreciate the dad who is much closer to him than I am, saying, "Hey buddy, be careful up there." I'm not going to chastise that dad for "parenting" my child in that kind of situation. And I appreciate all the other people who are helping raise her in some way -- her teachers, principal, soccer coach, swimming instructor, the volunteer at school who taught her to paint, the other parents who take her home occasionally when DH can't get to school on time -- because I couldn't do this job, couldn't do the things they do, all by myself.

"freddieflounder101" wrote:

I don't think it's about giving money to the public schools. Who does that, on an individual level?

A lot of people! Our school's PTA raised over $200K this year to fund programs that the state has cut but that our school community feels are important to a well-rounded education. Many of the biggest givers have said that they chose public school even though they can afford private, because they believe in public schools and in providing a good education for all children. And their money is helping all the kids, not just their own.

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"KimPossible" wrote:

No i hear you, and i agree with you. I think we need to value the education of our children more and be willing, as a society, to put more towards creating good environments for our kids. I just didn't agree with Stacey's example. I don't think a wealthier family's choice to send their kids to a private school needs to be sacrificed in order to show that they support their local public school and want it to be a good place.

I'm not so sure that many people who are paying for private school are also donating funds to public education. Parents choose private school for all kinds of things that private schools offer -- religious education, dual language immersion, Waldorf philosophy -- and that's their right and I would totally pursue those options if they were important to me. Around here, and this might be particular to S.F. because of how our school assignment system works, it seems that many parents choose private school because of what their assigned public school doesn't offer -- no arts, no music, no garden, no tutoring services, no after-school care. Eight years ago our school had none of those things; now we do, because with committed parents willing to donate time and/or money to their kids' public school, the community *can* do a lot for *all* the kids. I'm not saying parents shouldn't choose private school; I just question -- as it sounds like the woman in that video, which I can't see, is questioning -- whether more of these parents who have the means shouldn't be looking at the bigger picture of being a good community supporter, and not just a good parent to their own kids.

And finally, I don't understand the notion of doing a favor by freeing up three spots in the public school; public schools don't get money for kids who aren't there.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3303

"Spacers" wrote:

I'm not so sure that many people who are paying for private school are also donating funds to public education.

My point is why does it matter if they send them to private school or not. "I'm not so sure anyone with a decent amount of disposable income is donating any extra of it to public schools, at the sacrifice of other things they would rather have or do"

And really, what are you basing that on? And what does it matter, if wealthy parents who don't use private school also don't bother to donate.

Lets just take the private school out of it.

Parents choose private school for all kinds of things that private schools offer -- religious education, dual language immersion, Waldorf philosophy -- and that's their right and I would totally pursue those options if they were important to me. Around here, and this might be particular to S.F. because of how our school assignment system works, it seems that many parents choose private school because of what their assigned public school doesn't offer -- no arts, no music, no garden, no tutoring services, no after-school care. Eight years ago our school had none of those things; now we do, because with committed parents willing to donate time and/or money to their kids' public school, the community *can* do a lot for *all* the kids. I'm not saying parents shouldn't choose private school; I just question -- as it sounds like the woman in that video, which I can't see, is questioning -- whether more of these parents who have the means shouldn't be looking at the bigger picture of being a good community supporter, and not just a good parent to their own kids.

Yeah but if the school is not that way WHILE my kids are there for those particular years, i'm going to send them to the places that do have those things if i can afford it. That doesn't mean i can't spend any time or money trying to improve my community and its schools some other way for future generations. And while my own kid might be worth the whatever amount of money i invest in a private school, that wouldn't necessarily mean i'd spend the same exact amount on improving the situation of other children. Other children are important yes, but they are not as important as my own kids are to me

It just doesn't seem like a reasonable thing to speculate about. Its unrealistic, not a very 'real life' speculation.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1530

I am with Kim on this one. Dh and I work actively in our community to help children (Dh teaches at public schools, he has been offered plenty of positions at private schools) We do donate to help the public schools, even while paying for private school.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1530

This may sound very selfish, but ultimately my kids are going to come first for me. I would not expect anyone else to put my kids before their own either.

bunnyfufu's picture
Joined: 10/21/05
Posts: 203

You should! I don't think that is selfish.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

I think it would be unhealthy/ unattached to NOT say that.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6545

I do not think it is selfish either. I have a SIL that believes that everyone should send their kids to public school so as to improve the local school. She believes that if everyone sent their children to public schools, then the public schools would so improve for everyone. I disagree that we should sacrifice the education of our children now, so the children 10 years from now can have a better education.

It would be nice if everyone could afford to send their child to the school of their choice and that all of the public schools were well funded. In a perfect world it would be that way. That said, there is no way I am sending my kids to the schools that they are zoned for. If there came a point in time that we decided to send them to public school (and DH did not work in a neighboring school that they could go to), we would move into a better school system. If that makes me selfish, then so be it.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1530

The other thing that I disagree with this message is that I think she is taking away some of the responsibilities from parents. If parents do not maintain an environment that is conducive to learning, then no amount of money is going to fix the problem. If parents do not do things like help their kids with homework, or make sure their kids are at school (and on time) then again, school is not going to be as effective for that child or any of the other kids in the class.
Communities should help with better schools, but parents really have to be the front line on what their kids does in school.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"mom3girls" wrote:

I am with Kim on this one. Dh and I work actively in our community to help children (Dh teaches at public schools, he has been offered plenty of positions at private schools) We do donate to help the public schools, even while paying for private school.

Around here most public schools pay about 2-3 times what private schools pay, is it that way in your area? People actually get annoyed when a public school teacher has their child in private school ~ its seen as "not believing in the system". My kids Kindy teacher has her three kids in catholic school and there has been a lot of comments made about it amongst the parents. My very best friends husband is an elementary school principal and its a huge issue for them as ideally he would like to send their son to the Christian school that we went to ~ but it will be a big issue if he does so.

And Bonita you have mentioned how terrible/dangerous your school district is and how incredibly cheap your mortgage is and how slightly unsafe your area is (in the leaving your kids in the car debate). I'm sure that thats all related. In choosing to live somewhere where your community has a low tax base/very low cost of living, your family can afford to have you at home teaching your own children, with your family investing little in your community. Your sister in law has a point that that isn't helping other kids education or lives get better, and it would be interesting to see if your family would be able to maintain your quality of life or continue to have one parent home with a parent working two jobs in a community with good schools and a higher cost of living.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1530

The school where my oldest goes pays about 90% of what public pays, but then teaching staff gets free tuition so it would kind of be a wash as far as money. As of right now Dh wants to teach at public, even with all the problems at schools he wants to be a part of the solution
I am not sure what people think of teachers that have their kids in private school when they teach at public. All 3 of the principals that Dh has had while teaching (one is now taking over some position at district office next year) have had their kids in private school. I am sure there would be some people not happy with it, but I have never heard any of that.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6545

It depends on the kind of private school. You have small religious schools that are affordable for the average person to go to, that do not pay their teachers very well. There are also private prep schools that cost $20-30K a year. They obviously pay their teachers better.

Rivergallery's picture
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

"freddieflounder101" wrote:

I don't think it's about giving money to the public schools. Who does that, on an individual level?

I also think that if the public schools around you are terrible, then of course you send your kids to private school. We must look out for our own kids, no one's suggesting we abdicate responsibility.

But we, collectively, should think bigger. Think about our kids as a generation instead of just grabbing what we can for ourselves. Work with other parents towards better programs in our public schools.

I am lucky to live in a community where parents are very involved (sometimes over-involved I think but that's another debate). We have a lunchtime enrichment program that parents contribute to, the PTA funds a ton of activities as well as supplies for the classrooms, they do fundraisers for smartboards, etc. Some contribute time instead of money.

I don't have a practical answer for how to fix the system, but I think step one is a shift in thinking, which is exactly what she's talking about.

Not sure how it works there but our local school does fundraisers all the time.. so I not only give more in taxes to school other peoples children than I pay to school my own, but I also donate and help with these fundraisers.. I also though we homeschool donate to the local private school also.. Not sure what you intended to mean. But I am sure lots of people donate time or money INDIVIDUALLY to the local school either public or private other than their taxes which are not donation but mandatory... whether they send their child to that school or not.

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