Parent rights in retaining a child

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Latest post 05-20-2012 6:26 PM by cbg. 30 replies.
  • 08-31-2011 4:51 PM

    • kneevak
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    Parent rights in retaining a child

    I want to retain in my child in the grade he is currently in. The school is not allowing me to do this. They say they need a "valid" reason i.e. failing grades, multiple teacher recommendation. I know several people that have held their children back, they all stated the school advises against it but ultimately the school adhered to the parents wishes. What are my rights and what can I do.

  • 08-31-2011 5:06 PM In reply to

    Re: Parent rights in retaining a child

    The big question is...WHY? Holding a child back just because the parent wants it is not in the kids best interest. I cannot see how holding the child back for no valid reason at all is good for the child. I have looked into this for my daughter who started school early and is the youngest in her class and studies show the benefits of holding the child back are only temporary and fade within a few months. Seems you want to do it for own convenience (i.e a sibling that is one year behind him). How do you explain to the child that they are being held back basically for no reason?

  • 08-31-2011 5:25 PM In reply to

    • DPH
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    Re: Parent rights in retaining a child

    kneevak:
    I want to retain in my child in the grade he is currently in.

    What grade and what do you think will be gained by holding him/her back? 

     

    "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."  -  Mark Twain

     

  • 08-31-2011 6:12 PM In reply to

    • kneevak
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    Re: Parent rights in retaining a child

    Don't mean to be argumentative but the reason why I want to do this is NOT the legal issue. The issue is whether I have the right as a parent to hold my child back or not. Just for clarification I have many VERY GOOD reasons for doing this and the child himself wants to stay back. I would never have moved to do this without his buy in.

  • 08-31-2011 6:14 PM In reply to

    • kneevak
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    Re: Parent rights in retaining a child

    Not sure  of the relevance of these questions but he is in 6th grade (going into 7th) and we live in NJ.

  • 09-03-2011 5:33 PM In reply to

    • DPH
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    Re: Parent rights in retaining a child

    kneevak:

    Not sure  of the relevance of these questions but he is in 6th grade (going into 7th) and we live in NJ.

    The only relevance in asking the question was to put it in perspective.  I know parents that had their children repeat lower grades, K or 1st, so that when the kids reached HS age they would be more "mature" mentally or physically.  Their main thrust was to make sure that their kids tested well for college and would be admitted to the schools of the choice.  In all cases, these kids were enrolled in exclusive private schools and the schools absolutely had no problem taking the extra year's tuition.

    If you are in public school and you want to hold him back, are you willing to pay for that priviledge?  That would seem fair to me.  Unless there is a valid reason for your son to be retained, as defined by your district or other agency, why should the tax payers pick up the tab for your son to "redo"?

     

     

    "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."  -  Mark Twain

     

  • 09-03-2011 5:57 PM In reply to

    Re: Parent rights in retaining a child

    kneevak:
    The issue is whether I have the right as a parent to hold my child back or not.

    No, you have no such right.  

    kneevak:
    Just for clarification I have many VERY GOOD reasons for doing this and the child himself wants to stay back.

    While you believe your reasons are good if they do not meet the academic or developmental reasons for keeping a child back, the school system is not required to comply with your request to hold him back.  What the child wants does not factor into this at all.  Kids want a lot of things they can't or shouldn't have it doesn't mean they should get it.

    Unless you can demonstrate to the school that it meets any of the reasons defined by the school board for holding a child back they are not going to approve your request.  

    "That's just my opinion, then again I might be wrong."  Dennis Miller

     

  • 09-03-2011 9:45 PM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Parent rights in retaining a child

    You need somebody to comment on the NJ school code.  I'm in PA--I do not recall anyplace in PA school code where a parent has a right to hold back and have child repeat a grade he has otherwise passed. Parent may have rights about holding back a year or so until compulsory age of attendance is reached ( 8 in Pa)  or participation in K (optional in Pa)

    But lets say it costs $16,000 to educate kids in your NJ town---now if you pony up $16,000 for an extra year I suppose administration will wink and accept your wish.  But unless you pony up $16,000 I fail to understand why you should be allowed to repeat a grade you passed. (I'm not a fan of allowing free repeats for kids who flunk either but thats not your question.) Send the kid to private school?

    I've met parents who seek to hold back boys who seem immature and others who hold them back thinking it will give them a big physical edge in varsity athletics--I don't know if either holds up as useful in long run.



  • 09-04-2011 10:02 AM In reply to

    • kneevak
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    Re: Parent rights in retaining a child

    Thank you Drew. I am surprised that in my conversation with the school they are not indicating that they HAVE a certain code that allows or disallows you to retain a child. They (the school) seem to indicate it is their decision but that's just their opinion and not verified by a school code or fact, which is what I expected. As you stated had I done this at an earlier age it would not have been a problem which makes abslolutely NO sense to me. IF you feel your child is struggling (But not yet failng) why wait for failure to hold him/her back. I have the right to use my intuition and intelligence when the child is 6 but not when they are 12? Do we suddenly become stupid once the child passes age 8 and are incapable of making this decision any more?

    I pay taxes in my town for my child to go to school. If it takes an extra year for him/her to become a successful student and excell in college isn't that the actual goal of the school? Doesn't that make the school system succesful? Also, why doesn't the school realize that they are putting themselves in a very difficult position by defying the wishes of the parent and student. If the child continues to struggle and eventually fails, than that it truly is the school systems fault. If the child is held back and still doesn't succeed than it is likely the child would have failed anyway and the blame is not really on the schools shoulders exclusively - a much safer path in my opinion.

    Lastly, it seems the decision is arbitrary because I have taliked to 5 people who held their children at varying ages, all were allowed by the school and one was in the exact same grade as my child. I also spoke to a parent who was held back by his parents when he was younger - as a graduate of West Point he felt it was a very wise decision on his parents part. So I guess ultimately you are correct, it is according to school code but that is not what I am being told, I am being told it is at their discression and I am surprised and disappointed that the instinct/will of the parent concerning the well being of their child is not the overriding factor. The schools ultimate interest is the school. The parents only interest is the child - in my opinion this should clearly outweigh the school because the parent (and child) will have to deal with this decision for the rest of their lives, the school only cares about them (if at all) during the tenure of their school attendance.  

     

  • 09-04-2011 5:37 PM In reply to

    • LG81
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    Re: Parent rights in retaining a child

    kneevak:
    Less than $.50 per child per taxpayer in the district.

    It would be interesting to see the source of this statistic.  However, your statistic may actually be correct, but your logic is faulty.  Let's say there are 40,000 taxpayers in your district; at $.50 per child per taxpayer, that would mean it takes $20k per year to educate your child.

    In my personal opinion, there is a lot of waste and fiscal mismanagement in many public school systems.  It would be nice if it costs that much to educate a child, the child could get a decent education.  For $20k a year, a child could go to a pretty decent private school and get a great education.

  • 09-04-2011 5:47 PM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Parent rights in retaining a child

    One  of my family has taught 6th for a long time.  If the child's experience or peer group last year was unsatisfactory--what makes you think it will be better upon a repeat. Not sure how your school operates but locally kids are rather ability grouped in 6---and a repeat of low level 6 may not prove much benefit?

    As a taxpayer I'd freak out if I found my administrators were allowing unrequired repeats w/o benefit of collecting tuition---but hey--my friends in teaching in NJ tell me in some classes 40% of kids are not in right school --



  • 09-04-2011 8:53 PM In reply to

    Re: Parent rights in retaining a child

    kneevak:
    This is a legal forum and I am asking a LEGAL question about whether or not I have the right to retain MY child under the law.

    Which was answered and is no.  There is not such right in NJ.  You are free to hire a lawyer and try to sue the school board and spends a lot of money to do so but you do not have a legal right to hold your child back after a specific age WITHOUT specific academic reasons behind it.

    kneevak:
    So far no one has provided ANY legal insight.

    Apparently when you signed up for the site you did not read the terms of service.  This site is for general legal information only.  If you want legal information SPECIFIC to your situation you will have to hire a lawyer in your state.  The volunteers on the forums are prohibited from giving specific legal advice to your situation beyond what we have already told you.  You also agreed not to use profanity or insults in your posts.

    kneevak:
    This site is useless.

    We are often told that when we don't tell someone what they want to hear and what the law actually says.  

    "That's just my opinion, then again I might be wrong."  Dennis Miller

     

  • 09-04-2011 9:00 PM In reply to

    • LG81
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    Re: Parent rights in retaining a child

    Wow!  I mean no disrespect, but your logic is faulty.  Your insults/cussing are also unnecesary and prohibted by site rules.  There is no law in NJ that states the child can be held back due solely to parental demands.

    If your child is really in trouble, then get some of his teachers behind you to recommend he be held back.  There are many reasons why a parent might want a child held back -- some logical and some illogical and some selfish for vicariousness..  In the sweetest and kindest way I can say it, the parent(s) are responsible to make the right decisions in terms of education and helping a troubled child.

    If you cannot afford sending him to a private school (or if a private school will not accept him even  if you can afford it), then please consider how good parenting could help him succeed at his grade level. 

     

  • 09-04-2011 9:22 PM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Parent rights in retaining a child

    Actually by combination of federal and state law a child is entitled to a FAPE, a free appropriate publication education and if the kid passed grade 6, nowhere that I know of does that require that taxpayers pay for 2 years of 6th grade , child got a fape first time.  

    Your attitude that somehow your child is "entitled" to extra education for free escapes me. 



  • 09-04-2011 9:31 PM In reply to

    • kneevak
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    Re: Parent rights in retaining a child

    "Which was answered and is no. There is not such right in NJ."

    Based on WHAT? Your opinion? Show me an evidence of fact.

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