School District passes Parents’ Bill of Rights
The School Board of Lee County approved a Parents’ Bill of Rights policy last Tuesday night, which also promotes parental involvement.
The policy went into effect Wednesday.
Board member Melisa Giovanneli said Tallahassee had to strengthen the constitution by mandating that the Bill of Rights to be more.
“This Bill of Rights will only strengthen it. That is sad to me. School boards all over the states have not afforded the parents’ rights. It’s important that they know and are aware. Unfortunately, it has been lost. I’m excited about the Bill of Rights,” she said.
The Parents’ Bill of Rights Policy 2.062 pulls from all the district’s policies, outlines parental rights from healthcare to education and consolidates everything into one document, which can all be found on the district’s website, www.leeschools.net with links for additional information. The four-page policy includes three subheadings — parents’ rights, promoting parent involvement, parent requests for information and that the district will inform parents on various topics.
Board member Gwyn Gittens said she is glad there is a Parents’ Bill of Rights and everything is laid out for parents to know what their rights are for their children.
“My question is the 60 percent of students and families, what have we really done to let them know, truly understand,” she said. “How has this really been explained to the 60 percent of our population. Have we had meetings, or small groups where we sit down?”
Gittens said the Parents’ Bill of Rights is a good thing, but she hopes the district is taking it one step further to make sure people understand.
Board member Mary Fischer said there are a lot of efforts that go unnoticed, as members of staff at schools are trying to get parent involvement.
“Parents are our partners and we need you,” she said. “We have some parents who have really taken a very big interest and are educated and have the ability to find out what their rights are. Parents have always had these rights. It’s a composite presentation on this.”