Pledges for a successful back to school

By Staff
Leada DeVaney, Editor
If you've been to just about any store lately, you know people are busy getting their children ready to go back to school. You can almost hear the collective groans from parents as they purchase that one additional notebook, the extra pair of expensive jeans and just the right backpack.
But amidst the purchases of pencils and pens, calculators and clothes, there's something else we need to be doing for our children. A successful back-to-school experience is much more than a list of supplies, it's a list of pledges parents and the community can make to our students:
Pledge one: We believe all students have the right to learn in peace and security, free from violence and harassment. Attending a safe school isn't a luxury, it's a right and one we are all responsible for enforcing.
Pledge two: We believe students should go to school with adequate nutrition and rest. The education system can help supply the nutrition (school breakfasts programs are one of the most beneficial but overlooked programs our education system offers) but a good night's sleep is up to the parents.
Pledge three: We believe students should be able to attend school and not worry about how their parents are going to pay their electricity bill or water bill or purchase food. A student's job is to attend school, not support a family. And while reality dictates many of our students must work and contribute to the household, a student's main focus must be on getting an education.
Pledge four: We believe all students should have the opportunity to participate in extra-curricular activities. Often, our schools fall into the trap of only offering sports as extracurricular activities. Many students, however, find their niche in other areas, whether it's writing, art or acting. Opportunities for creativity have to be provided for those students.
Pledge five: We promise to stay involved at our child's school. It seems it's more natural for the parents of elementary school students to volunteer at their child's school, but it's equally important for high school and junior high parents to get to know their child's teachers.
Pledge six: We pledge to support our teachers to the best of our abilities and to support their respect to authority. This means no bad mouthing teachers or administrators to our students, no matter what our personal feelings are. Students must learn respect for authority, not feel they can treat others without respect because that's what their parents do, too.
Pledge seven: We pledge that each child should get one cool thing for back to school. Every kid deserves the Spider Man backpack or the new blue jeans.
After all, you can learn, but you have to look cool, too.

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