Here's the Dear parent/guardian of a MHS student,
For those of us dedicated to the profession of educating children we are finding that working with students in school is often a challenging endeavor. It is also rewarding when we see growth and success.
While our primary responsibility is the academic standing of our students we also work hard to make sure our students are emotionally and physically safe. This is a daunting responsibility for all of us. As a parent you have awesome responsilbilites as well. Raising children in today's society is more challenging on many levels than in any other time in our nations history. Our children are bombarded with so many temptations and distractions on a regular basis it is hard to deflect them away, but we must. What is your child doing between 2:15pm when one school day ends and 7:30am the next morning when another school day begins? What about the weekends?
With modern technology such as cell phones and computers it should be easier to "keep track" of our children. Instead, some of our children are making foolish decisions in their use of phones and computers. Picture phones are causing quite a disturbance in schools around the country with some students prying into the business of others by taking pictures of anything and everything they want to, whenever they want to. This misuse has also included cheating on schoole exams through the use of picture phones. We also know that students are using these phones inappropriately at home. What's on your child's phone?
Computers have caused more of a concern although in schools it is less of an issue as we block the websites that are not appropriate for school use. Have you ever heard of myspace.com? This site is the rage for many student computer users around the country. If your child is regularly on the computer I urge you to look into your child's use of this web site and others like it. Here are some disturbing things we found when we looked at some public student profiles (from students from almost every highschool in the state, both public and private) on student sites.
1. Some students are willing to post very personal information about themselves and their families, including addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth et al.
2. Some students post pictures of themselves on the website in what can only be termed as provocative poses and limited clothing bordering on nudity. They then ask viewers for comments.
3. Some students incriminate themselves by posting pictures of themselves in possesion of, or using drugs and alcohol.
Just when we think we have figured it out, when we think our children are safe at home, we have to worry about their phones and their computers.
The other disturbing trend among some high school students is "having friends over." Many of us think we are making the right decision by having our children stay home. This is not always the case. Some students are having friends over without adult permisson and even more disturbing, some parents are allowing students in the home when there is no adult supervision. Sometimes parents do not even know the first and last nameof everyone in the house. I think parents open themselves up to legal consequences if something happens when an adult is not present or when they do not know everyone there.
Like many of you I am not willing to give up on our children and their role in society. They are the future. We have to stick together. Reach out if you need assistance. Don't be afraid to admit you do not have all the answers. Individually not one of us has all the answers but collectively we may be able to figure it out for our children.
Now that I have pained you or "shocked" you a little bit with the opening of the letter let me take some time to give you some idea where we are in an academic context at MHS. (Blah Blah Blah). Let me end my stating I was mildly suprised and pleased the other day when some highschool students sided with me in a conversation with other students when they said that parents should be parents and not their friend. Our children really do want and need direction socially, morally, academically, and any other way we can lead them. Don't ever think for one moment that our work is done.
Dana Brown, principal. that the principal sent via letter to parents. What are your thoughts?