Menifee parents apathetic?

I saw this article about Menifee parents (of Bell Mountain Middle School students) and felt immediately defensive, however it is a topic wor...

I saw this article about Menifee parents (of Bell Mountain Middle School students) and felt immediately defensive, however it is a topic worth considering...

The 'Head in the Sand' award

A raspberry to apathetic parents in the Menifee Union School District.Educators recently organized a presentation on Internet safety for parents at Bell Mountain Middle School in Menifee.
The seminar was spurred, at least in part, by at least three recent incidents of local middle school students posting video clips on the Internet of kids fighting each other.To publicize the event, the school district sent out fliers, posted information on its Web site and sent automated phone calls to families across the city.
Despite these efforts, on the night of the big event, only three parents showed up. Among them were a school board member and a teacher. They were far outnumbered by the one lieutenant, three sheriff's deputies and nine local school district administrators who were there to host the meeting.
We all have busy lives, but parents in Menifee and elsewhere should be a little more interested in some of the pitfalls waiting for kids, in both the real world and online.
By The Californian Opinion staff Monday, May 4, 2009 12:10 AM PDT


I for one would agree that the Youtube craze and other such internet sites, popularly used for, shall we say "personal expression," are places that can be of great danger to our kids. In addition, I recently read an article while sitting in the doctors waiting room. (It was a very long article, however, my wait was even longer so I read the entire thing) It referred to the number of kids (ages 10 to 16) that are actually sending pornographic pictures of themselves via cell phones, to other kids. Mostly boyfriends or girlfriends etc...

Now, given the level of e-danger to our kids that is out there, I am curious about the determination that it was "apathy" that made parents skip this event. I would love to hear from local parents on this...

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  1. Lack of concern or "who is the school to tell me what to do" attitude? If you check the post we see plenty of comments from parents about kids etc. It is to bad the district felt compelled to hold a seminar to inform parents and no one shows up. Don't complain when your kids have to goto perris for school if no one supports our district.

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  2. This is typical government bureaucrats taking the actions of a few bad apples and trying to scare the general population in a lame attempt to justify their existence. I'm almost at a point where I can homeschool my kids and get them out of this corrupt and failing school system. I'm glad no one showed up to their little meeting. The kids were probably sending pornographic pictures of themselves at school where they are not properly supervised rather than at home where the parents can watch them.

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  3. Don't you dare blame the teachers. They are perfect.

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  4. I have two children in the Menifee school district one of which is at Bell. I never recieved any notice of this meeting. No papers were brought home and no phone calls were recieved. Also I am an employee of the Menifee school district. I cant imagine something like this happening and not hearing about it. I would like to know how many parents did or didnt know about this meeting?

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  5. Never heard a word about it until I got on this site. I also have a child at Bell and my wife works for the district. They didn't try very hard to contact parents.

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  6. It is this wonderful school system that we have here in Menifee.. Elementary schools are good but the 2 middle schools we have here are awful. Do people really know what is going on @ Menifee Middle? They punish all the kids for he few bad apples ie; all the fights that go on there they have no control I am so sick of that place..But all the unions want to protect the bad teachers and the liberals in this country don't want school choice. UGHHHHHHH

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  7. It is amazing that people blame everyone but themselves. It isn't the teachers, police, or anyone else's job to teach your kids wrong from right. parents are apathetic. Schools do their best to get info out to parents through pone calls flyers that students are expected to bring home to mom and dad. If you didn't get the info, talk to your kids. Bad teachers and Unions? What are you talking about? Rotten parents produce rotten kids. My parents taught me right from wrong. My parents weren't my best friends and I knew my place. Good parents aren't apathetic, and there are lots of us. If you think the unions and teachers and the schools are to balme for "those kids" then you are part of the issue. You need a license to drive, own a gun, go fishing etc..., but you don't need oneto become a parent. Lucky thing for some of you.

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  8. Sadly, I’d have to agree that apathy infects the parents in Menifee. This link is for an Op-Ed piece from the Press Enterprise.

    http://www.pe.com/localnews/opinion/localviews/stories/PE_OpEd_Opinion_S_op_anderson_15_loc.3c7b35f.html

    All the observations in the article were made at Menifee playgrounds, watching parents completely ignore their children as they are too wrapped up in their own personal online lives. Why do we have higher expectations for our children when the parents Twitter, update their Myspace pages, and sent text messages when they should be parenting. Many young parents in Menifee are just iphoning it in.

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  9. Link cut off

    http://www.pe.com/localnews/
    opinion/localviews/stories/
    PE_OpEd_Opinion_S_op_anderson_
    15_loc.3c7b35f.html

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  10. Parents these days are more concerned with instilling a postive self-esteem than actually raising kids. Kids today curse like fools, disrespect adults and others in society, etc... But has anyone else noticed that manyof the parents in our area act like children themselves. Men dress and act like teenagers. Where is the self respect. How do you expect kids to have respect for others when their parents lack respect. Many students act up in school because their parents are push overs who fall for anything. Schools make mistakes, no doubt, as all humans do, but the blame for the attitudes of many teens today falls directly on the parents and nobody else.

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  11. No one ever fought when I was in school. We were all good kids.

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  12. I am a parent of a Bell student, I am a stay at home mother and NEVER got any information regarding this presentation. It is a shame there wasn't a better turn out...knowledge is power, anything can help! As for some of the previous comments: I have this to say, while I realize it may seem fun to parent like Britney Spears and clearly Menifee has a large population of these completely imprudent beings...it is not in the best interest of our children. Since when did teaching your child to have Honor, Character and Integrity become the responsibility of anyone but PARENTS. Check your state standards folks thats what they are taught and the rest is up to you! Let me leave you with a tip of the day: if you have a cell phone and a computer you can access your cell phone account and discover anything you want to know about any cell phones on your account...yes,anything. While discovering this you can also put many different types of blocks on cell phones. Try it sometime you will be amazed!

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  13. Even if the calls did go out what's not to say the child couldn't erase the message...cousin erases messages from his grandmothers phone kids aren't stupid...they live in Orange Co.

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  14. Raise your kids right. Someday they will be in charge of you.

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  15. I never recieved a phone call about the event. I have a student who goes to BMMS. I never recieved any flyer either. I agree with poster that said there are blocks you can add to cell phones!! My child has no internet access and is not able to text. Also my home computer is in plain view where I can see what she is doing. It our job as parents to raise our kids not teachers.

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  16. Once again teachers pointing the finger at parents and lumping the super majority of good kids in with the few trouble makers. If all kids were respectful anyone could be a teacher. Unfortunately today’s teachers are teaching for a paycheck, not to develop the kids into adults, like they did in the past.

    “watching parents completely ignore their children as they are too wrapped up in their own personal online lives”: There are a number of teachers that sit on their cell phones and on the computers in class while the kids teach themselves. So maybe the teachers need to start looking inward instead of blaming parents all of the time.

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  17. STOP YOUR CRYING. Instead of waiting for phone calls and flyers be PRO-ACTIVE in your childs life and school. If you don't like free education then pay for private school. then you will have something else to bitch about.

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  18. Anonymous at 7:17am, May 7.

    You are part of the problem. What dreamland do you live in. Yes their are some horrible teachers, just as their are horrible cops, cashiers, bricklayers, etc... but teacher shouldn't be all about disciplining your children. No you couldn't teach, nor can just anybody. A teacher's job should be to teach. Our children should have been taught the skills needed to act properly in a classroom/social setting. The fact that many students these days can't function in a social setting reflects less on a teacher's inability to teach than a parent's inability to properly raise their children. If you actually believe it is the teachers responsibility to teach kids social skills rather than academic content, then do our society a favor and neuter yourself. We don't need anymore irresponsible parents raising kids in our society. Leave it to the parents who understand their responsibilities.

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  19. From a parent--
    I think their are fabulous teachers, lousy teachers, fabulous parents, lousy parents, good kids and bad kids, and their is not a one size fits all answer everything. A parent may not have attended because they never heard of the event, or perhaps they had other commitments, or perhaps they have already addressed these issues with their children (which many of us have already done). Parental controls on the computer along with enforced rules (in other words parental supervision) go a long way in helping children make good choices. Admittedly, sometimes kids will still get into trouble, even with parental involvement, but most of the time it can make a big difference. Jumping to conclusions that all Menifee parents are apathetic simply because they did not attend a particular meeting is rediculous.

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  20. Wow...shocking...parents not giving their time to interact in their children's school life...surprising...NOT! Amazing...schools not communicating effectively with parents...shocking...NOT! That's why I home school.

    Blame, blame, blame...where is the parent who takes responsibility for their child? Where is the teacher who takes responsibility for his students? Oh yeah! At home giving that child an education.

    You won't see my kids YouTubing fights and sending naked pix on their cell phones. They have busy lives filled with family field trips, learning opportunities, sports, and tons of enrichment activities. It's called "parental involvement".

    I understand not everybody can home school, but at least make an effort to see what is happening at your child's school, and more importantly, what is happening in your child's life!

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  21. Nice points Draven

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  22. Randall FreemanMay 08, 2009 12:23 PM

    I sent this letter to the Californian yesterday...

    "It is unfortunate that the Californian editors chose to determine that the small number of parents at our Internet meeting at Bell Mountain Middle School had to be solely due to parent apathy (Californian Roses & Raspberries, May 4th). The facts were true in reporting the small number of people in attendance. I was disappointed that more didn't show but didn't automatically determine that it was due to apathy. Was the Californian aware of the massive power outage that occurred at that time? This and many other reasonable factors could explain what happened."

    Randall Freeman
    Member, Governing Board
    Menifee Union School District

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  23. MENIFEE MIDDLE SCHOOL IS A JOKE. I WENT THERE 12 YEARS AGO; they have RADICALLY CHANGED; They won't even let kids wear plain WHITE T-SHIRTS, HATS that don't have the MVMS logo on them; the staff treats the kids like CRIMNALS; They think all kids are in a gang.. they are FRICKIN' 12 year olds for christ sakes; They can't hang out in groups larger then 5 people, no wonder there is so much tension they treat the school LIKE A PRISON! Joke!

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  24. to post above


    LOL, the joke is you! If it was so bad why are you repeating the mistake again? Maybe in the future you keep your criminal kids at home so the school is safer. Funny how the guilty always react in the manner you did!!!

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  25. This is really sad. Reading all these comments they sound like they came from our children instead of the parents. We need to help each other, remember the saying "it takes a village". We all want the best for our kids, granted we may all have different ideas of what our best is. My kids have been in the Menifee school district since 1995. I have dealt with the good and the bad, trust there is both. I dont want the teachers raising my kids, thats our job. We talk to them, we teach them right from wrong and in the end we pray every time they are out of our sight that they make the right decision. I allow my kids on the internet and I tell them the rules. If you take the ability of choice away from them then how to expect them to learn how to make the right choices? Thats part of learning. Yes as parents we have to be involved, but we also have to step back and give them the chance to fail and succeed. I have known to many parents that make all the decisions for their children, then they go off to college and have no idea what to do. That makes life difficult for those poor kids. We need to stop blaming and start helping and caring about all our kids.

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  26. "I have known to (sic) many parents that make all the decisions for their children, then they go off to college and have no idea what to do."

    Maybe those parents shouldn't go off to college.

    What I find sad about this post are the comments that include a vast array of errors: grammar, punctuation, capitalization, spelling, etc. SAD!

    Mr. Freeman, with all due respect, if the members of law enforcement and the panel of board members were able to take the time to work with parents to solve the problem, don't you think the parents could have spent a few minutes of their time to hear and share their ideas? What is to blame, if not apathy?

    A power outage? How is that truly an excuse? Outages happen all the time in Southern California. Outages are more prevalent than earthquakes. I hardly think that could be considered a reasonable excuse to not show up to an important school meeting concerning student safety.

    Finally, I want to say to Kevin Anderson, "THANK YOU for your article on detached parenting at the park." I am saddened when I see Menifee parents ignoring their children at parks. These are the parents who will later decide not to attend school meetings concerning student safety.

    There is a line in the movie Hook where Moira tells her husband, Peter (Pan), "Your children love you. They want to play with you. How long do you think that lasts? Soon Jack may not even want you to come to his games. We have a few special years with our children, when they're the ones that want us around. After that you're going to be running after them for a bit of attention. It's so fast Peter. It's a few years, and it's over. And you are not being careful. And you are missing it."

    We could ALL use that advice.

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  27. I understand the irritation of many parents when their parenting is placed under scrutiny. Apathy is a very strong word to use, and it is a very lofty position to take. Kids get angry, like adults, and fight. It happens. How many of Menifee's populous pays to watch people fight? If I were to take a pole, I'm guessing it would be something like 80% (or more) of Menifee pay money to watch people fight in some capacity. Who doesn't like DRAMA? Guess what? Kids, especially adolescents, like DRAMA as well.

    The fights are over. Let us teach the kids how to deal with a situation of high tension. Many people (parents, teachers and administration included) don't know how to deal with high tension situations. Who referees an e-mail fight between co-workers? What about a bully supervisor or boss? What about politically charged statements? Just because the fight is not physical doesn't make it more "civilized."

    What do you think you were doing, "Mr. or Mrs. author of the infamous article"? You were picking a fight. We don't need finger pointing.

    No one knows what their kids are doing when Mommy and Daddy are not looking. Everyone has made and will make mistakes. We all have issues, be it behavioral, emotional, academic, socioeconomic, or what ever else. When you stick a bunch of people (much less kids) in a big pot (like public school), skirmishes are eventual. Deal with the situation and move on. Where the parents of the kids in the situation notified? Where the kids involved dealt with?

    Okay it was tossed up on for more eyes to see. There is a solution to that. Parents, teachers, administration come up with one that works if one isn't out there.

    No need for name calling and fight picking. We are really all in this together whether you have children or not.

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  28. First off, I never received a single notice (whether it be flyer or phone call) about this meeting and I have two children in the district. Both of whom are VERY good at bringing me every bit of info they are ever given.

    Also, some of us are already well schooled on the ways of the internet and the dangers they pose for our children. For me to have shown up at the meeting would've been a complete waste of my time-that does NOT make me an apathetic parent.

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  29. PASS FAIL NOT AN OPTION

    (5/7) The difference between propositions 1A-1F passing or failing on May 19 would mean the difference of $23 billion in funding over the next four years. It would mean having or losing (not gaining) an additional $6 billion to $11 billion in education funding. That translates to $48,729 cut to each currently existing classroom.

    If parents go to the polls on May 19th and bring one person with them to vote YES we can avoid a devastating hit to our schools. Please vote on May 19. Failure is not an option.

    Vote YES because we dont want bigger classroom sizes. They can go up to 42/1. We dont want that!

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  30. Instead of always raising our taxes to fund programs, how about the state attempt to make some cuts. Vote No on 1A-1F.

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  31. Don't worry, the parents (and teachers/staff) at Paloma are just as bad. Drug use and drug dealing is RAMPANT at Paloma, no one bats an eyelash....EVER. 1st period PE is a bong fest, kids do drugs in class, RX pills are everywhere. No one cares.

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  32. "1st period PE is a bong fest, kids do drugs in class, RX pills are everywhere. No one cares."

    Maybe Councilman Twyman can "chime" in and let us know how true these allegations are.

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  33. Also, some of us are already well schooled on the ways of the internet and the dangers they pose for our children. For me to have shown up at the meeting would've been a complete waste of my time-that does NOT make me an apathetic parent.

    By Catrina, at May 11, 2009 8:29 AM


    Your right, your not apathetic YOU ARE SELFISH! Not everyone is "schooled" like you and guess what? Your kids are light years ahead of your "schooled" intert expertise

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  34. Anonymous