Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy is calling for a new law to criminally charge parents who miss their parent-teacher conferences. We have previously seen a few cities propose jailing parents. I have written previously on the over-criminalization of America and this is a prime example.
Worthy wants to decrease youth crime by forcing greater parental involvement at school. Not a bad idea, but I fail to see how throwing the parents in jail is going to achieve that objective.
Worthy would require parents to attend at least one conference per year or face three days in jail. Notably, however, if students were doing well, the parents would be exempt. That could lead to anger over the targeting of particular parents while exempting others.
The proposal has been criticized but Worthy stated “You can shoot the messenger, but I don’t care as long as the message gets out.” The “message,” however, seems to be that every social goal is now going to be converted into a criminal matter. Politicians increasingly feel that, if their particularly goal is really important, it must be expressed in criminal terms. The result is that citizens are being given criminal records that undermine their efforts to get jobs or function fully in society.
The lowest performing children statistically come from the most impoverished families. The result is that those parents will face a high degree of prosecution and will be given criminal records when they are already struggling in society.
This is not to excuse absent parenting. However, criminalization of social problems is a terrible option for policy planners. It is particularly problematic to see a prosecutor taking on school policy — extending the criminal code authority into social programs. There is ample real crime to be found in Wayne County without making the prosecutor’s office an extension of the school system or vice versa.
Source: Detriot News