Letters to the Editor

School district: Student rights ignored

Do you really know your rights as a parent or your child’s rights as a student in the Oak Harbor school system? According to the principal at North Whidbey you have none, as long as your child is on school grounds the school has the right to make your child do anything and sign anything they want, with out contacting you as a parent. The school can have your child sign papers stating that they did or said something wrong, even if your child denies the statement. Because the school said your child did it, your child can be reprimanded for it. If you tell your child not to sign anything unless you are contacted, it goes on their file as a refusal.

Children are being sent to the office and being denied the right to call home, because the school said it’s not an emergency. They’re told they can’t use their cell phone or the phone will be taken away. I don’t know about any other parents but in today’s world a cell phone is a life line to my child.

Children are being censored on what they can say. Did you know that children are being put into detention and expelled from school for using the word gay in a non-threatening manner. Parents of any teenager knows that gay is being used as a slang word, as in “That’s gay.”

What really gets me is that the only ones taking offense to this are the teacher and the faculty. To use the word “gay” for any reason is sexual harassment. According to the school, your child can be arrested by the police and have a criminal charge brought against them. Sexual harassment is a charge that will stay with your child for life.

Then to have a teacher tell you this in a room full of other parents and students, do these people know what damage they are doing socially, emotionally and mentally to our children? Or do they even care? What is this world coming to when children can’t be children anymore? Don’t get me wrong, I understand that bullying and harassment needs to be stopped but not the way the schools are handling it right now.

We as parents need to stand up and say, “No! We do have rights and our children have rights, don’t let anyone take them away.” We have the right of free speech. We as parents have the right to protect our children and their rights no matter where they are.

Carol Tingley

Oak Harbor

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