Editorial: Involvement is needed in schools

Apr. 23, 2013 @ 06:15 PM

When Rep. Nathan Baskerville was making his run for office last fall, he offered up a suggestion that some might have thought far-fetched.

“You go to games at the schools, the stands are packed,” Baskerville said. “When it comes time to meet in parent-teacher conferences, parents are not as accessible. We should make parents meet with teachers in order to participate in extracurricular activities.”

We recall that today in light of recent activities associated with Vance County Schools that beg the question: What does it take for a parent to get involved?

In an effort for feedback, the school system chose to use a telephone survey. The survey was five questions, all yes-no answers, and calls were made about 7 p.m. The response was less than half of 1 percent, a mere 210 responses on more than 7,000 calls.

At first blush, the methodology is up for debate. But that point aside, we agree the school system tried to get input and more than 99 percent chose not to be involved. Regardless of the method, that’s horrible.

Then there was the fundraiser for the Vance County Early College High School. Singing groups donated time and talent. A few supporters showed up, but few if any administrators, teachers, parents or students were there.

And these are just two examples.

The school system is already swimming upstream in a county crippled by unemployment and poverty. With a graduation rate 12 percent behind the state norm, leaving one of every three without a diploma, Vance County Schools have many needs.

Arguably, none are bigger than combatting apathy.

At events with participating parents, we’ve been encouraged by smiles from teachers and parents. Children feed off this emotion, this sense of accomplishment. But it should happen more often than just a special performance or event.

It should happen regularly, daily rather than weekly or monthly.

Which takes us back to the Henderson Democrat’s idea. It is a good one, if it has to be used. But must we put up extra hurdles for our students in order to get involvement? What does it take for a parent to get involved?

Giving birth to a child should be the answer. Sadly, it is not.