Serving Parents is the Best Way to Serve Students [The Hub Debate]


This is  a Hub Debate on the role of boards of education. For more background, read this.  Participate in the comments or submit a response for publication to The question is: “Who do you think the board should serve?  Parents? Students? Why?

“Who should members of the State Board of Education serve – parents or students?” is a great example of the twisted kind of thinking being perpetuated by some of Utah’s highest ranking educrats. To serve students directly would bypass parents as the primary decision maker, so who does the USBE have in mind to be the replacement decision maker in that scenario? The underage student? If so, they will need to radically increase their ice-cream budget. It’s obvious the real question being asked is “Who should make decisions for students; us or parents?”

Parents are the primary advocate for their child because parents are, with few exceptions, gifted with the natural instinct to continually sacrifice for them, so naturally the needs and interests of the parents revolve around what is best for the child. Serving the parent is synonymous with serving the needs of the student.

Not only will parents do a better job advocating for students more often than a school board full of self-promoting politicians ever could, but it is their constitutional right and duty to do so. Consider these portions of Utah Code 62A-4a-201.

Under both the United States Constitution and the constitution of this state, a parent possesses a fundamental liberty interest in the care, custody, and management of the parent’s children.

The state recognizes that: a parent has the right, obligation, responsibility, and authority to raise, manage, train, educate, provide for, and reasonably discipline the parent’s children; and the state’s role is secondary and supportive to the primary role of a parent. It is the public policy of this state that parents retain the fundamental right and duty to exercise primary control over the care, supervision, upbringing, and education of their children.

It is a constitutional right and duty for parents to have primary control over their children’s education, and it is state law that the State be supportive of parents’ primary role; so the State Board needs to stop attempting to undermine us with divisive questions and be more supportive.

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