Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

February 24, 2013

Mercer board oversteps boundaries

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— I went to pick up my child for a doctor appointment at a Mercer County school. Imagine my surprise when the school refused to release him. There are no custodial issues and I was stone sober, so what was the problem?

Mercer County Schools early dismissal policy says parents have no rights to their child during the last 30 minutes of school. The only reason I was given for this policy was that parents abuse early dismissals. How insulting! Most parents work hard to arrange appointments outside of the school day so that time out of class is minimized. In my case, I was able to arrange an appointment that would only require missing the last 15 minutes of school. I thought I had done well, but when I arrived to pick him up I was treated as if I were wrong for even asking for my child. In the current state of failing schools, I say quit trying to regulate parent behavior and concentrate on educating our children.

I have asked that the elected board members change this policy and they have decided not to. The Mercer County Board of Education has overstepped its boundaries with this policy. I take my rights as a parent seriously and I believe most do. If you still believe that you know what is best for your child and that you have a right to them at any time during the school day, than let the board members know that the early dismissal policy must go. Right now it is 30 minutes of every school day that they refuse to let you have your children. Do you really believe the board will stop at 30 minutes if this policy is allowed to stand?

Lisa Shrewsbury