Our view: Stay involved in your child’s daily dialogue

Every mother dreads the day that she has to let go of her young son/daughter’s hands as they walk toward the school bus alone to begin their voyage in the educational system.

Most of the paranoia is unwarranted and is just the overprotective instinct of all moms to freak out over nothing in any given situation regarding their children.

But the world is changing – quickly – and our children are living in a world today where they are asked to grow up faster than ever.

Some of the happenings in our world in the past several weeks show that maybe it’s not wrong to grab the youngers’ hands a little tighter out of fear of letting go.

Maybe it’s understandable that we don’t want our young ones to grow up quite so fast. Maybe the joys of being a child are values that we should protect for a little bit longer than we do.

Our school systems in Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes are run by professionals, and each school within the two systems are in capable hands to keep our young kids safe.

In our area’s private schools, it’s the same story, as our area is blessed with several top-flight private institutions.

But there’s only so much that they can do.

When hiring instructors, public schools conduct an extensive background check to make sure that the individual is free of any red-flags that would prohibit their employment within the system.

But searches like this are always imperfect, which leaves open the risk that someone with the wrong ideals and decision-making skills can enter the classroom and be put in a position to interact with our area’s youth.

We’ve seen instances of this multiple times in the past several years in instances of teachers being arrested for having sexual encounters with their students.

The type of teachers involved have been non-discriminatory. We’ve seen coaches, regular curriculum instructors and both men and women accused.

We’ve seen it happen across multiple schools in both of our parishes, and it’s unacceptable.

Several decades ago, there was no law against the relationship – the teacher would simply be removed from his/her position if allegations were proven to be truthful.

But today, if the accusation has merit, the teacher is charged and prosecuted against the law.

It’s a shame that it’s had to come to this point where it’s no longer understood that these types of student-teacher relationships are faux pas, but it’s the world in which we live.

But parents, be on alert at all times, because there are maybe a few things that you guys can do to make sure that everything stays safe.

Stay in tune with your child’s social media at all times. They’ll hate that you’re doing so, but doing so can prevent some bad situations.

Young people today tell their entire life story on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If something is going on, their followers and social media friends will know about it well before you do.

Also, make it a point to stay involved with the happenings going on within their school. Attend Open House events and other related schools functions. Get to know the people educating your student as best as possible. If suspicious about anything, schedule a meeting with a school administrator to discuss any issues that may be on your mind.

It’s sad that it’s come to this, but recent history shows us that the world isn’t the same place that it was 50 years ago and that our schools – though still safe – aren’t quite the same places that they were many years ago.

We now understand why it’s a little bit tough to let go of that hand on his/her first-ever day of school.