Last school year was extremely difficult for students enrolled in public schools. It didn’t have to be that way because private schools managed quite well during the pandemic. Many private schools and some public schools opened with a manageable plan in place.
They educated their students in school with a reasonable plan in place.
Across the state, parents organized to open their public schools because they saw children enrolled in private schools attending school every day. As a parental rights advocate in New Hampshire, I worked with parents in several districts, and continue to help them advocate for their children.
I watched and listened to parents explain the dire situations their children were in, both academically and emotionally. They pleaded and begged the people in charge to listen to them. They were respectful of parents who were managing their children at home. Some parents were ok with their children at home learning remotely.
That’s wonderful, but there were ways to accommodate all of the families since other schools, daycares, and community organizations were taking in children to serve their needs.
Parents continue to speak up about how those in charge of their public schools failed their children. If people cannot perform the task of running the district or serving on the school board, they should be doing something else.
In Hooksett, parents are now sharing their experiences with the school board. In the public comments, parents shared the problems they have seen, and expect better. Here are some of the statements from a parent of a 7th-grade child attending the Hooksett public school last school year:
1) Despite our many interactions with the District this past year, our daughter lost most of her entire 7th-grade year.
2) We have 2 concerns; a lack of true learning and a growing social division between students.
3) She did not have opportunities to learn in a way that fit her learning style. She needed relationships.
4) The masks presented a physical barrier. She could not rely on facial expressions or social cues which are essential to building relationships. Learning was difficult without personal connections.
5) As a 7th grader she had no opportunities for quality writing in any of her subject areas.
6) She did not read any text on her own. She had no hands-on learning; she just listened.
7) This is what she heard. She heard one side of current events which related to politics or the pandemic. CNN news was often the basis for the information.
8) She did not learn to ask her own questions.
9) She did not learn from other sources of news or information.
10) She did not learn to do her own research.
11) She did learn, through implied, not direct statements, the political affiliation of her teacher and her peers.
12) She learned who was getting a vaccine and who was not.
13) She heard statements of the potential division between vaccinated and unvaccinated kids for the upcoming school year. For her, this created a feeling of separation, of not belonging, and a feeling of fear.
14) With COVID protocol, your seat is your seat for a whole week. This is a middle schooler’s worst nightmare.
15) This sums up our daughter’s year and it has been nothing short of heartbreaking for my husband and I.
16) Her needs were not met at the academic and social level in school, and she continued in athletics and we thank God for that but she needs to continue to learn.
I keep hearing how kids are walking into their classrooms to watch CNN. Within these comments from a Hooksett parent, you will see that she mentions that her daughter was subjected to “one side of current events which related to politics or the pandemic.”
Parents are fed up with the public school staff using their platform to indoctrinate children into their political biases. It’s bad enough that the students are not being properly educated. Then they give children a heavy dose of political indoctrination disguised as education. As enrollment continues to decline in our public schools, you can thank the incompetent staff that thinks this is a good way to educate children. It’s a good way to hurt public education because it drives good parents to remove their kids.
Hooksett parents need to demand better from their administrators, teachers and school board members. Demand academic excellence in public education. Stop the political indoctrination through CNN or any other biased source. It is education neglect to impose this kind of politically biased education on children.