YORK, Pa. – Parents told Fox News they play an important role in their kids’ education and that the pandemic has created more opportunities to engage, despite its negative impact on children.
“I feel I’m an important role in the education system, I’m involved in our district. I coach. I volunteer,” Brian Sigley, a Pennsylvania father of four, said. “I’m involved in their lives. I want them to succeed.”
A slew of Democrats have recently downplayed parents role in their children’s education. Michigan Democrats, for example, posted and later deleted a statement that said public education is sufficient in teaching children what society “needs them to know.”
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However, some parents think a hands-off approach has caused issues emerging in children.
In December, Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy issued a Surgeon General’s Advisory, warning of a growing youth mental health crisis amid the coronavirus pandemic. Throughout the COIVD-19 pandemic, emergency room visits for suicide attempts by 51% among adolescent girls rose and 4% for boys, data shows.
“The problems that we’re seeing today are due to the fact that parents fell asleep at the wheel,” Nicole McCleary, a mother of a fourth-grader, told Fox News, referring to mental health issues in school children being exacerbated by the pandemic.
“I think that a lot of people would agree that things are a mess right now, and I think that they are because parents stepped back,” McLeary continued.
She described how a mental health crisis from the pandemic has worried parents. She said the combination of remote learning, masking and cancellation of proms and field trips have negatively impacted school-age children.
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Nick Spagnola, who has kids in first and second grade, told Fox News he started paying more attention to his children’s education because of the pandemic.
“That kind of got all the parents involved because they were scared for their children,” he said.
Parents are in a better position to monitor their children’s schooling and mental well-being than school faculty and administration, Sigley said.
“We are getting real-time feedback from our students when they come home each day as to how they feel about the way things are going in the district, whether it’s masking, whether it’s bullying, whether it is curriculum, we’re getting that real-time feedback,” he told Fox News.
McCleary said: “I might not be infallible, but I certainly know what is best for my child as far as the pandemic goes because I have been right by my child’s side the entire time.”
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Another mother, Cortney Hendrickson, described her experience getting more involved in her kid’s education as “beautiful.”
Sigley told Fox News: “Whether it’s morals, beliefs, social norms, whatever the case may be … education is important.”
“My children need to learn it, whether we believe everything that goes with it, we learn it because it’s how you have to get through in this country,” he continued. “And I want to have the choice of whether I can help them with that.”