Volunteer bill would hurt working parents

MarchaŠ Grair

When I was younger, I do not remember my mother volunteering at my school very often. Some parents attended every assembly and helped with each school play.

My mother was not one of them.

When other students had their moms or dads pick them up from after school activities, I relied on my grandmother for transportation.

Was my mother a bad parent? Did she take no value in my education?

More importantly, should her lack of volunteerism during school functions be illegal?

This issue is under extreme scrutiny because of the introduction of House Bill 519 by Sandra Williams (D-Cleveland).

The bill would require all Ohio parents to volunteer in their child’s respective school district for 13 hours a school year. Parents who failed to volunteer would be punished with a $100 fine.

Those in support of the bill argue parent participation is necessary for both a successful student and a successful school district.

Unfortunately, the bill’s supporters have an overly simplified solution to a very complex problem.

Parent interest in a student’s progress is necessary for a student’s success; however, a parent’s inability to volunteer at a child’s school does not necessarily prove a lack of interest in the child’s education.

My mother is a lot more than many mothers could ever dream to be – a true “mom.”

Her absence at school events during the school day was anything but negligence.

She is a single parent and works hard to provide for her children.

If this law existed when I was a child, Ohio would have punished a woman who has done everything to push her children to succeed.

The parents who would suffer because of this law are the parents who probably cannot afford to call off from work to help at a school carnival. Many of them are probably single parents who have more than one job and struggle to keep their heads above water.

The government should take partial responsibility for the condition of Ohio schools before assuming irresponsible parents are to blame.

If public schools had the funding they need, parent volunteerism might not be as necessary.

If single parents, like my own, received the child support they deserved, they could afford to miss a couple hours of work to visit their child’s school.

Maybe this problem cannot just be solved with a $100 fine.

It’s time for the government to give adequate funding to every public school so the same standard of learning can exist across all color and income lines.

MarchaŠ Grair is a sophomore electronic media production major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].