Oct 25, 2010

Via CNN:
A county prosecutor in Michigan is proposing a law that could punish parents with jail time for repeatedly missing their children's parent-teacher conferences.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy introduced a proposal Tuesday at a Detroit City Council meeting that would require a parent to attend at least one parent-teacher conference a year or face up to three days in jail, according Maria Miller, Worthy's press secretary.

The proposal, which Worthy has also sent to the state legislature and the Wayne County Commission, would exempt parents whose children are performing exceptionally well or who are actively engaged with their children's teachers. Parents who are unable to travel for health reasons also would be exempt.

So far the proposal has met with mixed responses.

Detroit Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown applauded Worthy's idea, saying he would support legislation.

"It's child abuse when your child is failing in school and you're not involved, because you are strapping that child to a life of poverty," Brown told CNN.

He noted, however, that jailing parents for missing school meetings might not be practical and suggested altering the punishment. "If it's not jail maybe it's something else, but we've got to do something to get the parents' attention," he said.

Daniel Lessard, a member of the Livonia Public Schools board, said that he agrees with the need to get parents involved, but called the idea "the dumbest thing I've ever heard."

"You can't legislate parental involvement. I think this proposal is purely political and a real neat way to get your name in the paper," Lessard said.

Wayne County Commissioner Laura Cox, R-Livonia, blasted the proposal because she feels that Worthy has bigger problems she needs to deal with first. "Kym Worthy has a record of complaining that her office doesn't have enough funding to prosecute violent crimes, and now she wants to put parents in jail. It's despicable," Cox said.

According to the proposed ordinance, teachers would work to accommodate parents' schedules by setting up conferences at any time during the day. Additionally, any parent convicted under the law would have their sentences delayed to give them another chance to attend a meeting. If they do, the charges would be dropped.

At present there is no legislation pending in the state House, County Commission or City Council.

Kym Worthy was not available for comment Thursday.


  1. While I was reading this post, I was making a list of my current parents who just might get fined for this type of behavior. I think that all of them would be able to avoid this type of reprimand.

    This is an extreme measure. However, I know from experience that there are parents who need this type of forceful encouragement to do the right thing.

    I don't see jailing them as pratical. Motown is already strapped for money. Adding on the jail population isn't going to help the budget. I think that if the parents fail to make a conference without a truly valid reason, then they should have to do community service in the school or schools where their children attend.

    This would help them to see what challenges their child's teacher faces daily. They would have the opportunity to become actively involved in their child's education because they are right there with them.

  2. Chris Rock says parents should be fined for not doing right by their kids. Check him out in this award winning short film:


  3. public school are joke.I wonder if her daughter is enrolled in the detroit public schools?If Any public school is so great ask the elected those elected if they have kids in public schools?She wants to lock up parents for not attending parent teacher conferences to a school district she refuseto send her daughter to?