This is a message to all Marysville School District parents: Don’t think for one minute that all your troubles are leaving town with Dr. Linda Whitehead. We were in deep trouble here before her tenure and we will continue to be unless parents get involved and stay involved and require accountability from our well-paid teachers and building administrators.
The standard “parent protocol” in this town seems to be “being right there” for the kids and teachers all through elementary school, then dropping them like hot potatoes when they enter sixth grade. I believe, from my own children’s experiences, that sixth and seventh grades are an extremely critical time developmentally when the kids need their parents to be as involved in the school buildings as they were in elementary school (or even more so). It is not a time to sit back and think, “Well, now my job is done.”
I have been a parent of kids in this district since 1978. With my first crop of kids I was young and under the impression that the teachers and building administrators were “always right” and I failed to consider that my children’s version of a situation at school was a possibility. Big mistake. The post-elementary schools in our district are where things go haywire and result in drop-out rates of well over 30 percent.
The finishing touches on my education about this district’s secondary schools occurred following my daughter’s traumatic, life-altering injury in the summer between fifth and sixth grades. I spent the better part of the next two years in and around my daughter’s school.
The lesson learned: Parents must be present and involved and I’m not talking just PTSA here. We as parents need to have the dedication to our children to attend, look and listen closely to what is going on; in many cases you will find it to be a not-so-pretty picture. Be an active advocate for your child. Without you, they are very alone in a very intimidating situation.