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  • Pepi M. Silverman

When to NOT accept "NO" for an answer

Educating children is a process that begins at birth. As parents model, reinforce, and encourage their children, they are establishing a foundation for all future learning. As children begin school, teachers take over that role of instructor and that transition sets the stage for a partnership that will follow children until they accept their high school diploma.

In any partnership, both sides must both give and receive a level of respect that acknowledges the expertise that each participant brings to the table. Parents tend come into school buildings with a reverence built from being former students; yet, school personnel tends to receive those parents as if they have continued to be their students, instead of the community members to be served by those school systems.

When parents see their children struggling in school, they question themselves, they seek advice, and they worry about their children's future. They bring knowledge of their children's life history in hopes that they're mistaken. Unfortunately, many families are rebuffed and discounted for seeking assistance for their children.

Feel empowered by the responsibility of your role as a parent. While schools have the responsibility of providing educational services, they also have the responsibility of working with parents on behalf of their students. Parents have rights and can assert those rights in disagreement when the school denies reasonable consideration in support of their children. Know your rights and trust your instincts. Parents do not have to accept “No” for an answer when their children demonstrate a need for support. Feel comfortable to assert your rights and seek support if the school is not responding appropriately to your concerns.

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