Overstepped bounds

| 29 Sep 2011 | 10:16

    To the editor: I read with interest your article “Parent questions school handling of writing on the wall” regarding the actions of school principal, Sonya Cole, and her directive to the police officer to comment, in a graphic manner, at a school assembly on the graffiti incidents. It seems to me that the principal completely overstepped her bounds in bringing up a subject as sensitive and terrifying as rape at a school assembly to children in that age bracket. I believe that with an incident as serious as that, there should have been an assembly of parents first, or at least a letter going home to parents informing them of what was to take place, so parents would be aware and have the opportunity to act accordingly. I had a similar situation a number of years ago when my husband and I were informed, by letter sent home with our kindergartner, that the children would be seeing a puppet show having to do with drugs and alcohol abuse. My husband and I were appalled, for a number of reasons. One, there was no letter of authorization included, in other words, the students were seeing this puppet show, period. Two, there was no invitation for the parents to preview this puppet show in advance of the students. And three, kindergartners seeing a puppet show regarding alcohol and drug abuse??!! Our daughter hadn’t the faintest clue what that was when we questioned her. We wrote a letter to the school directing them to exclude our daughter from the viewing, as we believed it was not up to the school to teach children that age about a subject as serious and scary as alcohol and drug abuse. Furthermore, we were appalled to learn that only one other child was excused from the viewing. We, as parents, seem to have easily abdicated the upbringing of our children to the public school system, and the school system, in turn, has taken that abdication and run with it. We’ve all heard of high schools who hand out condoms to students, and other hideous stories of the like. Remember, this all started when the public school system decided it was their responsibility to teach children about sex, and we let them. And now, look what it’s become: elementary schooler’s hearing about rape at an assembly, and kindergartners being shown a puppet show about alcohol and drug abuse. We, as parents, should be ashamed that we have let the upbringing of our children slip through our hands, not only through the school system, but through the popular culture of the media-music, movies, tv, etc.- where kids are exposed to all sorts of garbage. I applaud Mr. Paulson and his courage to stand up for his rights as a parent in questioning the poor decision made by Ms. Cole. She may have single-handedly removed the last vestige of innocence from some of those children and I mourn for that lost innocence, because it can never be regained. As Mr. Paulson remarked, “...it is of the utmost importance to remember the children are just that, children.” Louise Price Dingmans Ferry