Parental responsibility at issue in Proposition 49

By
November 7, 2002

When a woman and a man decide to have a child, they decide to place their own lives second. Their child’s life becomes first priority. I do not believe that both parents can have full time careers and be full time parents at the same time. It is impossible and it is destructive.

The passage of Proposition 49 will use taxpayers’ money to fund after school programs. These programs are targeted toward children whose parent(s) do not have time to see to their child’s needs after school. Knowing full well the time commitment needed to raise a child, parents should think long and hard before commiting to such a responsibility.

If one of the parents cannot stay at home and raise the child or at least be there when the child is done at school, then the couple should not have a child.

Supporters of this proposition say that after school programs will actually save taxpayers money by reducing juvenile crime. I say, parents themselves should be responsible for reducing juvenile crime by not having children in the first place.

I believe parents should be held more responsible for the actions of their kids. In the case of the Columbine students, is it the teacher’s fault for not noticing the students’ strange behavior? Is it the jocks who taunted the students to such an extreme? Or is it the parents who obviously did not know their children enough to address the behavior before the massacre occured?

Many parents today do not know their children. I believe it is because they don’t spend any more time after school with their child.lt

Often, kids who are found to be menaces to society have had a difficult upbringing. Juvenile crime is related to rejection, abuse and abandonment at home. It is not taxpayers’ responsibility to provide for kids whose parents could not provide for them otherwise.

I have worked at an after school program located in North Oakland that deals with youth development and violence prevention. I know that these programs are good. I do agree with supporters that after school programs improve students’ grades. However, I must say that there is a constant increase of enrollment in such programs.

I believe that this is a reflection of parents thinking that it is alright to leave their child in the hands of others; parents believe that it is OKto have as many children as they want and not worry about raising them. I believe programs like these release parents from responsibility.

Proposition 49 possesses good intentions, but truly, after school programs must never replace the actual attention of parents. It traces back to the parents.

If a parent cannot spend more than 45 waking hours a week (including commuting time) with their growing child, I find that the couple should not have a child.


Parental responsibility at issue in Proposition 49 was published on November 7, 2002 in Opinions

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