Parents today have legitimate parental concerns in child education, but how much input should they have when it comes to allocating resources around instructional design, technology and safety plans? A vocal minority of parents disproportionately focused on debating the progressive trends in the classroom can be a disruptive distraction when it comes to evaluating the majority opinions, however, there are some general concerns that resonate with a broader percentage of parents – more today than ever.

Mental Health and Bullying

The Pew Research Center report said mental health was the greatest concern among parents, followed by bullying, which worries 35% of parents. Parents are increasingly concerned about their child’s mental health and well-being, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools that provide resources and support to help their children cope with stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues are of high importance.

Safety in Schools

With school shootings and other incidents of violence seemingly on the rise each year, many parents are worried about their child’s safety while at school. According to a recent Gallup poll, 44% of K-12 parents say they fear for their child’s personal safety at school. Ensuring schools have adequate security measures to protect their children is a top priority.

 

Preparation for Life

Parents strive for their children to receive a high-quality education that prepares them for college and/or the workforce. In this Associated Press report, a majority of parents think schools are preparing students for college and to be good citizens, but not for work or life as an adult. In a joint study by the universities of Manchester and Chicago, over 60% of students thought that their high school curriculum lacked essential “life skills,” “hands-on material,” and “interpersonal approaches” that would’ve prepared them for the “practicalities of independent living.” Meanwhile, the Office for National Statistics showed that only 34% of 15- to 17-year-olds felt well-equipped for adulthood before graduating.

Technology Use in Education

The increasing use of technology in education is a double-edged sword. Some parents are concerned about potential negative effects on their child’s social and emotional development. Worries include excessive screen time, cyberbullying, and the impact of social media on their child’s mental health.

Targeted Racism at School 

Inequity in education is a persistent concern, particularly for children from low-income families or minority backgrounds. But even more recent concerns include blatant racism and targeted bullying due to a student’s racial background. A national parent survey by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) found that 42 percent of all parents are worried that their children will be impacted by racist comments or actions from other students; it rises to 63 percent for parents of color.

Overall, parents want their child’s education to be safe, high-quality, and equitable, with a focus on preparing them for success in the future. By addressing these ‘Parental Concerns in Child Education’ and meeting families where they are, schools can better meet the needs of their students and their families.

If you are interested in developing district-wide communications to reinforce the positive work you’re doing, please contact us. We’d love to talk about how we can support you.