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Opposing Viewpoints: ParentConnect is a harmful infringement

By Leigh Alon
Published: June 2010

In an age when the term “helicopter parents was coined, and universities constantly receive essays that were clearly written by frantic parents with English degrees, ParentConnect is yet another system that strips teenagers of independence and responsibility.

As a part of the new student information system, Chancery SMS, that was implemented this year, the ParentConnect feature would alert parents of a child’s major grades, such as on a midyear, missing assignments, and any skips he or she accumulates.

While at first this new opportunity for parents to keep track of their kids may seem insignificant, the precedent and the message it sends is dangerous.

As high school students, we are on the cusp of making one of the most important decisions of our lives and leaving the sheltered life of our parents’ home in Newton.

If we are expected to ever be remotely prepared for this big step we must be able to make our own judgments and bare the responsibility for any mistakes we make.

Our teenage years are a time of transition, a time when we are supposed to make mistakes, and when the consequences of these mistakes are not as severe because we have our parents to fall back on.

If a student decides that skipping a class or not taking the time to do a homework assignment is in his/her best interest, he or she should be able to make that judgment and face the repercussions.

Learning right from wrong from personal experience, rather than being told by an adult, is an important part of growing up.

In addition, in the ultra high stress environment that South can often be, sometimes skipping a class to keep sane and complete some work is not the worst thing in the world.

In fact, if a student is skipping excessively or not handing in a sufficient number of assignments to ensure they are learning the course material, the side affects of these actions will inevitably show up in locations parents do have access to.

These kids will have poorer grades and will receive an N in a class that they do not attend enough.

Therefore, this micromanagement of our lives is unnecessary because as soon as students are seriously hurt by the decisions they are making, the system already in place assures parents are notified.

ParentConnect can only take away a freedom that most students handle responsibly, and has allowed stressed out students to learn how to prioritize their time.

By not handing in every single homework assignment and skipping a select number of classes, many have been able to perform at their best while still maintaining good mental health.

As for those students who continuously do not do their work and don’t attend class, their poor choices are reflected in a number of other places, namely their grades.

As we grow older, and the prospect of leaving home looms closer and closer, we must begin to make some of our own choices, however small they may be.

In college and elsewhere we will not be constantly monitored and without experience in managing our own lives we may find ourselves lost in the very near future.

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