I am a single parent. My eight-year-old daughter Lashae has special needs, giving me firsthand experience of what it is like to have a student in the public school system who requires special attention.
I have encountered many difficulties with Lashae’s school in Harlem, including the interaction between parents and teachers. As a parent, I believe it’s important that I am able to visit my daughter’s classroom and speak to her teacher. Instead, Lashae’s school doesn’t allow me to do either unless I undergo a process that includes meeting with the principal and receiving permission. My daughter is not receiving the services that she needs in order to excel at her highest potential, but current policies leave me out in the cold when it comes to helping her succeed in school.
We need real changes in our schools to ensure that students like my daughter have great teachers and the resources and support they need to succeed. Right now, it seems like all of the policies protect the adults, not the children. How am I supposed to be a partner with Lashae’s teacher when bureaucratic rules block me at every turn? I’m a parent who wants to be involved in my child’s education, but I feel like the public school system is pushing me out, and that’s not right.
By Darryl P, a public school parent in East Harlem
The Wright v New York parent plaintiffs represent a struggle that families across New York experience in the fight for educational justice. This post is a part of a series that highlights parents who are speaking up for underserved students in New York schools. It’s time for education leaders to #hearourvoice.