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'Bad Parents' Bashed in SW Journal Column
Subj:      [Mpls] 'Bad Parents' Bashed in SW Journal Column
Date:     12/4/2001 11:46:21 AM Central Standard Time

Lynnell Mickelsen bashes 'bad parents' in her column, "life of the city" in
December 3-16 issue of the Southwest Journal.

Re 'Culture Wars' as an explanation for the concern that many parents have
about school quality, LM says,

> [beginning of quote] "...Conservative think tanks have funded endless
studies which predictably declare public schools a failure and
recommend--surprise!--private school vouchers. And Liberals have demanded
public schools overcome all the ills of society including racism, poverty and
parents who screw up..." [end of quote]

Lynnell Mickelsen has been conducting tours of Lake Harriet Community Schools
during the last couple of years.  While conducting these tours, Lynnell
doesn't say what she really thinks: the schools are fine, there is no need to
worry about how your kids will do unless you are a bad parent.

> [beginning of quote] "...But often I wish I could cut loose and add the
following taboo stuff:"

"Relax. Yours will turn out fine. Or they won't. Either way the school won't
have much to do with it.  Because most of the time, It's the family, stupid.
If parents stay sober, feed their kids, enforce bed times, give hugs, teach
manners, turn off the TV, read books, monitor homework, and show up at
conferences--by God, it may be a miracle and trust me, it will be time
consuming, but most of these offspring will do all right."

"They'll do even better if parents stay reasonably sane and don't project
their personal psychological dramas--a bad marriage, stressful job, nasty
childhood--onto their children and the school. Parental sanity gives kids a
huge educational edge. No school, public or private, will talk about this
because there are too many crazy parents who are too touchy. But it's true."
[end of quote]

There are indeed a lot of "touchy, crazy parents" out there. Maybe there
aren't so many in the SW Journal distribution area, but there are an awful
lot of 'those people' elsewhere in the city.

It should also be noted that in the school board race, the top vote getter in
Ward 5 was Evelyn Eubanks.  Eubanks ranked second in Ward 6, third in Wards 3
& 8, and fourth in Ward 4.

-Doug Mann

Doug Mann for School Board
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