We put a lot of stock in the opinions and guidance of educational institutions. This is usually well-placed since they're responsible for a chunk of the evolution of our children. But that doesn't mean that they're right all of the time. They commit slip-ups, as well as fulfill mandates that don't exactly please everyone.
No matter if a school is run by the state or independently, at the end of the day, they're a business. This means they have to make decisions that make their customers happy. And in order to do that, they have to enforce a number of restrictions that may cause some parties to get righteously upset. Sometimes a school's plan is well thought out, other times... not so much. This list will delve into quite a few public scenarios where schools and school districts have caused parents and their kids to fight back against their decisions.
Some may find themselves agreeing with a few of these stories. Some of these may even be polarizing. So, without further ado, here are 20 Parents (And Their Kids) Who Have Fought Back Against School Restrictions.
20 Mom Takes On Arguing In School
Parents of students attending Highland Springs High School in Henrico, VA, are deeply unhappy about the level of fighting taking place at the school. One mother made news in October 2018 after her daughter was hurt.
This incident was witnessed by many people who recorded it on their cellphones instead of doing anything to stop it. But this is due to the fact that these type of behavior is typical for the school. In fact, the very same day, the police were called to the school for three other separate incidents involving fighting and disorderly conduct.
Although the mother gained support from other parents and the press, school representatives denied the fact that their school had an issue in this department.
19 Daughter Made To Walk 1.4 KM To School
In September 2018, The Globe and Mail posted an article about a young woman who is made to walk 1.4 km to her Toronto school because she lives out of the limits than the school bus travels. The solo mother of this young woman couldn't afford to take her to school herself, as she had to work. Additionally, there was no other school in the area that could take her due to their location. Therefore, the immigrant mother was forced to quit her job in order to accompany her daughter to school as she was worried about her safety.
However, this family isn't the only one whose kids have to walk to get anywhere near a bus pick-up or the school itself. Over 70 parents signed a petition to increase the pickup and drop-off zone for the bus. However, the case is currently being disputed as the school claims that they are simply following the guidelines of the city and province.
18 Unnecessary School Bus Fees Angers Parents
In other bus-related news, a parent in Vernon, British Columbia, has launched a petition to protest a $300 school bus fee. The school has enforced the rule on kids who live just outside of the catchment of the school, as well as on children who don't use the bus all of the time. Before the fee, these students could ride the bus for free just like those who use it regularly and live within the enchantment.
But now parents who have kids that don't use the school's bus every day, or live more than 2.4km from the school, have to shell out $300 per kid a year. If parents don't pay, they will be fined. The only other choices are to drive their children to school and pick them up. Or, make them walk. Either of these choices can be difficult on parents who live just a tad further away from the school than those who don't. Unfortunately, the school won't budge on their decision so parents are forced to make a choice.
17 Lifting The Ban On Peanuts
An Ontario mother has petitioned her children's school to lift the ban on peanuts and nut-related products. She claims that this is important to her because her daughter is really picky about what she eats and they simply can't afford to keep testing random things out. The mom became exhausted finding alternatives to banned nut products that her kindergartener would eat. She offered to send her daughter to school with clearly labeled lunches, in order to deter those who had a nut allergy.
However, the school pushed back against this as a great number of parents wanted to keep this policy in place due to the fact that their children had really bad nut allergies. The Waterloo Region District School Board backed these parents saying that they don't intend on reviewing their policy as the number of nut allergies is too notable.
16 Teenager Pushes Back Against School Starting Time
In 2014, The Huffington Post shared a story about a student who petitioned her school when they announced that they were changing the starting time to 7.20 AM, instead of 8.20 AM. This petitioned gained incredible support and actually forced the school to push back the start time until 8.55 AM.
She was able to gain such a victory because she gained scientific evidence that proved that students are basically unable to fall asleep before 10.45 PM or 11.00 PM. This means that they'd be getting less sleep than required if they were forced to wake-up, get ready, and travel to school before 7.20 AM. For this reason, as well as a boatload of logistical ones, parents and students alike backed her almost unanimously.
15 Parents Angry About School's Head Lice Policy
One would think that dealing with head lice is a common practice for schools. However, at an elementary school in the Comox Valley in British Columbia Canada, one school district makes head lice the priority of the parents alone. This means that they won't send children home if they had it. Even though this is the practice of many other districts.
Many parents were angered by this as lice are highly transferable. The parents banned together to attempt to battle the school district in order to change this policy via a petition. They found out that if they received more signatures than they received (over 100) than the district would respect their wishes. There's no word on whether or not this policy was changed or not.
14 Parents Attempt To Prevent Over-Crowding In School
In 2015, The NY Press released an article that detailed the frustrations of parents whose kids were put on an enormous waitlist in order to gain a spot at a middle school. This conflict was really about the sheer overcrowding schools in Battery Park City were facing. Essentially, there were more families in the school zones than there were seats in the schools. This put the waitlists at about 50 students per year.
This is why the parents urged the school districts to shrink the expansion of their catchment limits. Sure, students could get into schools across town, but they couldn't get into the one right across the street from their home. This proved much harder than most parents would have thought.
13 Student Gets Punished For Defending Herself
Unfortunately, some school environments encourage kids to eat or be eaten, which is a little sad. This is certainly the case for a school in Wake County, North Carolina. By simply calling the police and charging each child for participating in such actions, they hope that it'll curve their behavior.
Although many students and parents back up these kids, schools see things very differently.
12 Boys Rally Against Gender-Biased Dress Code
The boys' clever protest was backed by 2,500 signatures. Clearly, many people believed that they should express themselves in any way they see fit, as long as it doesn't harm anyone. The Civil Liberties Union ended up taking the school district to court, in order to have these policies changed.
11 Parents Battle The Banning Of Balls
The policy angered parents and child-health researchers who claim that the rule puts focus on safety and keeps kids away from being physically active. These activities also helped children develop coordination, teamwork, and how to manage their own risks. Although the vast majority of parents saw these rules as outlandish, the school stood by them.
10 Student Reveals An Ineffective Teacher
Not every teacher is good. Some really shouldn't have been hired in the first place. This was certainly the thought of a young man at a Texas high school who recorded an interaction with his teacher that proved that she was incompetent at her job. But instead of sounding like a whiny brat, this young man proved that she wasn't accessible. Students couldn't receive any help from her, as she was disinterested and downright rude to them. Additionally, students claimed that she didn't actually do much teaching at all. She merely handed out work and told them to finish it.
The student then recorded a viral rant, demanding that he actually receive a proper education and how the future of the country was on the line. The video received tens of millions of views and actually got the school to put her on leave while they investigated her further.
9 Father Loses Case For Taking Daughter Out Of School For A Week
In England, different schools can enforce different rules for attendance. This was something that one father found out the hard way when he was fined by the school for removing his kid from school (without the school's permission) for a week to go to Disney World.
However, according to the school's rules and regulations, they maintained the right to fine any parent who removes their children for that long. The dad fought back against this by taking the school to court, claiming that the state was taking rights away from parents. But, due to the clear rules, even the Prime Minister sided with the school in this matter. The end result was the father having to pay the fine.
8 Female Students Make A Statement About Summer Dress Codes
Back in 2015, a few female students at a Cape Cod high school wrote a series of pointed notes to the administration for their strict rules on clothing. These notes were posted around the school and made news for their honesty. One of the notes said, "As the summer months approach, please remember... [Females] wear shorts in order to stay cool when [warm], not for you. We are 17-years-old, stop [objectifiying] our bodies. If my shorts make you uncomfortable YOU are the problem."
Instead of seeing the young women's' point, the school simply took down the posters and didn't approach the issue any further. It's understandable why these students were angry that they were being targeted for their clothing, while boys could basically wear whatever they wanted and not stir up the same conflict.
7 Student Council Beats The Breathalyzer
In 2015, Macleans Magazine posted an article that detailed a group of Millennial and Generation Z teenagers who have learned their civil rights in order to defend themselves against the practices of their school. In one example, a group of grade 12 students were about to be subjected to a breathalyzer test by the administration. This would have been enforced by the school at their prom, where most teenagers could sneak in drinks under the noses of those chaperoning the event.
The student council heads decided to do some research in order to determine whether or not what the school was doing was legal or not. It turns out, under the laws in Canada, it wasn't. They contacted a Civil Liberties lawyer, who pushed the school to rescind their decision. This tactic worked and the breathalyzer rule was put aside.
6 Student Sent To Detention For Wearing A Halter Top
Back in 2015 a Moncton, New Brunswick, teen received detention for simply wearing a halter-top to school on a warm day. The student fought back against this decision, claiming that the school had "unjust standards" for women's clothing, especially during the summer months.
She wrote a three-page letter to the school's administration, claiming that she was wearing what she wore for her own comfort and not to please the boys in the school. She also went on to say that any boy who couldn't control himself, around what was a fairly conservative outfit, should be sent home to learn self-control. Although some parents backed her, the school stood by their dress code, claiming that it was enforced for both women and men.
5 Saving The School-Yard Trees
A group of parents has launched a petition to save the few remaining trees that are scheduled to be taken down by the administration and their board. It's unknown whether or not the trees were saved. However, it's easy to sympathize with the parents who wanted to keep nature as a significant part of the school.
4 Equality In The Special Needs Facilities
In the summer of 2017, a group of parents took issue with a school in California after they began to notice that the disparity between the special needs campus and the rest of the school wasn't going to change. This was after the school had promised to upgrade the special needs facilities. They told parents that they'd be receiving a "state-of-the-art" campus. Instead, they received portables with few windows and little natural light that was hidden in the back.
The rest of the school, however, continued to receive significant upgrades over the years. After parents took their gripe to the press, the superintendent has promised to do something about it. Even if that just means "adding a few more windows".
3 Mom Wants Safer School Cross-Walks
When the city (working with the school district) moved an elementary school cross-walk to hazardous locations, many parents were irate. The cross-walk was moved due to the creation of a three-way stop sign in November 2018.
The location of this new cross-walk tasks children with navigating three extra cross-walks, causing more confusion on the part of the kids and the many drivers who pass through. The change was made to accommodate the sheer amount of vehicles in the area but has resulted in the kids being put in a far more risky intersection. Therefore, it's understandable why some parents are worried about their children's safety.
As a result, a petition was created. Over 60 parents have signed it so far. But they will need to garner more signatures before the city and school district pay attention.
2 Student Battles School Pool Restriction
Four years ago, Babble posted an article about a mother who battled a school policy that dictated that all young women must wear non-white t-shirts over their bathing suits at the school pool. This Indiana mom clearly thought that this policy was totally unfair to the young women, whereas the boys had no such policy. What's more, she thought it was even more unfair given the fact that the kids were merely in sixth grade.
The school responded to her frustration by claiming that their policy helped prevent teasing. She fired back by stating that greater emotional hardship comes from telling a young woman that their bodies must be covered up as not to make someone else uncomfortable. She claimed that if they wanted to stay true to their message, they'd make the boys do the same.
1 Parents Lobby For More Recess
In 2016, Fox News published an article about a victory that was won by parents over a school district in Miami, Florida. The parents took a stand against the district as their children weren't given proper recess and free-play time. Including lunch-time, the students at the schools in the district had all of their non-class time organized for them. In short, they weren't given a break. By doing this, the district was avoiding risk, not wasting class time, and not spending as much.
Parents were unhappy about this as they saw the toll it was taking on their kids. They banded together and took their fight to the press, who backed them fully on their campaign. All of this pressure pushed the district to allow 15 minutes of recess time a day for the kids. Not long after, Gov. Gina Raimondo signed legislation that mandated that at least 20 minutes were given to kids at schools for a free-play time. What a win for the parents!