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2002-01-08 - 9:27 a.m.

Good morning. Y'all must think I play hooky all the time. In truth, this year I've done it twice. In the previous 5 years, I believe I did it maybe three times. Not good --- but I could be a lot more irresponsible. I've been engrossed in The Liar's Club. It astonishes me how bad some folks are at parenting. I've experienced a few of these at school. Last year I had a student who turned tricks to help pay for drugs for himself and his mom. How can any parent be that wrong-headed and wrong-hearted? When he was removed from his mom's care, he was begging to remain with her. I know I'm lucky because my mom put her professional life on hold when my sister and I were born and became a housewife (not her dream job) until we were in middle school. And she and my dad both made sure we got a good education even before we started school. They sacrificed for us --- my dad supported a family of 4 on a teacher's salary (plus whatever extra work he could pick up) for many years and we did without any fancy, expensive stuff. We wore handmade clothes (and hand-me-downs), ate at home, went camping for vacations, and never had a lot of extra money. And I think my parents did a great job.

That's why parents who show up to school for conferences wearing expensive, designer clothes (which their kids also wear) and driving nice cars and who insist that their kid needs to go to work right after school to earn extra money and that's why he can't come to study hall/ detention/ etc. really piss me off. The unspoken message is that as soon as possible the kid will be allowed to drop out so that they can bring in more money. How can they mortgage their kid's future like that? Yeah, education isn't necessarily a guarantee that you'll get a high paying job (or any job) and, just as true, education is not entirely about gaining marketable job skills --- but how is it better to be a dropout with a minimum wage, no future job? Just for easy money now.

I know I'm not supposed to judge because I haven't lived their lives, but I believe they are doing their kids a real disservice.

And on that serious note ...



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