Challenging parents to step up

By Larry Sutton - Contributing columnist

Just as it should be, providing quality education for all is everybody’s business, and working at succeeding with every student is quite a challenge, especially with many children having to deal with a host of issues in their personal lives, including being exposed to drugs, violence, dysfunctional homes and the lack of positive male role models. With that said, it is incumbent on all classroom teachers to identify best practices and strategies that will help them become more skilled and successful with their work and interactions with all children, especially our children and youth of color.

As I mentioned at the start of this current school year, no one should be given a pass when it comes to the education of all our children and youth, with all teachers united in their firm belief that all children can learn and deserve an education worthy of their promise.

Now, with just three months into the school year, I would like to offer a challenge to every parent to go “above and beyond” the business as usual mindset and to help our schools better meet the needs of all students in the county school systems. So, parents, it’s your time to step up and be counted, helping your children thrive which will result in greater educational outcomes, thus, helping to close the achievement gap.

As a constant reminder throughout the school year, parents should instill in their children and youth the importance of education, letting our young people know that they must never settle for just getting by. It is imperative for parents to take a more active role in their children’s education on a year-round basis.

For those parents, legal guardians and other student advocates who have been on top of things since the beginning of school, I applaud you for becoming more engaged with your children’s schooling, realizing those positive parent-teacher interactions lead to children’s success in school.

Unfortunately, at this point in the school year, far too many parents have shown blatant indifference to their children’s education, missing out on many opportunities to be involved and engaged with their children’s schools and the teaching and learning process in general. This only adds to the growing crisis in the education of many of our most vulnerable students, with the crisis only worsening if something isn’t done now.

Just maybe it’s time for concerned members of our community stakeholders, including our school leaders, businesses, civic and fraternal organizations and the faith community to launch an educational movement, conveying the message of the importance of parental involvement in inspiring children to work harder at fulfilling their full potential.

Make no mistake about it, getting an education has always been a core value in the collective American experience. Getting back to making education a priority is still the best way to get ahead. From the fraternal hall to the pulpit, let’s declare our strong support for parental involvement when it comes to the education of children and youth, helping to put children on a path to a better future.

Larry Sutton is a former teacher at Clinton High School.

By Larry Sutton

Contributing columnist

Larry Sutton is a former teacher at Clinton High School.