Home Education Partnering with Parents

Partnering with Parents

By Staff Writer

During the May 3rd Highline School board meeting, teacher Bev Pecoraro, pleaded with the community to simply “trust the teachers.”

Yes, we appreciate teachers’ hard work, but do they reciprocate and say “trust your parents?”

According to policies and practice, it appears not.

Per Policy 3211, children may direct staff members to actively hide certain “protected” information about themselves from the parents, including their gender identity.

Some Highline teachers have created “safe spaces” to encourage children to share intimate concerns with their educators instead of with their parents. How does bypassing parents help the kids?

In 2022, the highly influential WA School Board Directors Association (WSSDA), passed a Permanent Resolution that acknowledges the impact of successful partnership between schools and parents:

Parents & Families Are Important Stakeholders In Their Children’s Education.

“Studies clearly show when parents/families are involved and engaged, it has a significant impact on student academic success and wellness. Schools should reduce barriers to parent/family participation to improve connections, collaboration, partnership, and transparency.”

As parents and grandparents, we love our children. They are deeply precious to us, and we are here for them. We deserve to be treated like parents and informed of any decisions involving our children, especially ones that may have a lifelong impact.

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  1. As someone who was a gay teen, and has worked with LGBT teenagers in group settings- this article is tragically uninformed.

    LGBT teenagers are are overrepresented in homeless populations because they are frequently kicked out by their own family. They are abused and put through conversion therapy by their own families. Teachers who know that a student is LGBT and not out to their families put the student’s safety at risk when they inform families of that aspect of the student’s life.

    Teachers might know that a student is out to friends at school, but they are not ready to talk to their parents and/or caretakers about it for a variety of reasons. It is the student’s decision. If a teacher steps in, they can damage relationships between the parents and children for years.

    Conversion therapy is banned in WA state because even non-violent methods encourage suicidal tendencies and depression; modern scientific understanding is that you cannot decide whether you are gay or transgender.

    Outside of LGBT-specific context- When abuse happens it is in the home. It is unethical for a teacher to share information or behave in a way that will worsen abuse. Parents are not always their child’s best advocate; in fact they can be a significant detriment on their student’s lives. It is sometimes appropriate for community members to step in.

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