Can Volunteerism be Required?

With so many schools begging parents to become involved in their children's education, we wondered how people would react if classroom participation were required of parents.

According to an online poll of 776 parents conducted by Parent Soup, one of the largest online parenting communities on the Web, 39 percent said "yes," while 61 percent said "no."

Let's look at the reasons for these opinions:

"I think it would be great if schools required parents to volunteer. It would force more parents to get involved in what their children do in school, who their friends are; their children's likes and dislikes about school. Too many parents get caught up in their own little worlds--work and the everyday hubbub and sometimes forget to ask what their children did or learned in school, how their day was, how their friends are doing."
-- conchitajean

"I loved the fact that I was able to help out at school in my two daughters' classrooms, but not everyone is able to do that and requiring parents to help is not a benefit to the students or teachers. People who do not want to be there will not be a help, rather more of a hindrance."
- alie_hart (Web)

"However, I voted "yes" to parents spending time in the classroom. Why? I saw my father teach for 25 years in inner-city schools and one thing he always said was that sometimes he felt he knew "his kids" better than their own parents did because the parents had no clue what was going on in the classrooms."
- azelie (Web)

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