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EDITORIAL: District shouldn't need to be both educator, parent

Recent Telegram stories explained a cooperative agreement between school and police officials. Last Saturday's story introduced "Project Truancy," through which Superior police visited homes and brought 23 truant students back to Superior High Sc...

Recent Telegram stories explained a cooperative agreement between school and police officials. Last Saturday's story introduced "Project Truancy," through which Superior police visited homes and brought 23 truant students back to Superior High School. Thursday's followup explained one mother's concern that police used excessive force to roust her son from sleep on a school day.

Public officials deserve credit for such cooperative efforts -- particularly when they are as successful as "Project Truancy." The bigger problem, however, can only be solved at home. Parents must become partners in the effort.

There's been a mantra that American schools must do a better job educating kids. It's noted that students in other countries are more knowledgeable, and U.S. educators get the blame. Could it be that American parents have become lax in working both with their kids and their kids' schools to ensure positive outcomes?

Take truancy for example. If a student repeatedly misses school, why hasn't a parent intervened? Why haven't they sought help from school officials or other authorities to resolve the problem? Certainly, no responsible parent would allow their child to enter today's work world with less than a high school degree.

But many of them do. In response, some blame the school system, as if teachers should play two roles: educator and parent.

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That's too much to ask. At the very least, parents should ensure their children attend school each day. Better yet, they should stay in contact with teachers to keep a tab on their kids' performance and behavior. And they should make time to help them complete homework and teach them positive lessons outside of the classroom.

Parents must be part of the solution, not active or passive contributors to the problem.

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