GREENE — Maine School Administrative District 52 directors debated Thursday a proposed change to wording in a Maine School Board Association resolution regarding parents’ right to oversee their child’s education.

The draft resolution is being sent to member school districts for review, according to Superintendent Cari Medd.

Board members approved most of the proposed changes or additions they made, but a clause added that was meant to recognize parents’ rights garnered debate.

The clause was presented by Director Anthony Shostak which included the wording “recognizing that parents have the fundamental right to oversee and direct the education of their children.” It was not in the original draft and association officials were hesitant to have the clause added, he said.

It was not clear at the meeting if Shostak drafted the clause or if it was by another director or group of directors.

Board members seemed to take most issue with the word “direct,” thinking that parents will interpret that as a right to dictate what curriculum their child’s teacher must teach them.


Shostak supported the clause, thinking the U.S. Supreme Court rulings regarding parental rights over their child’s education does not give parents that legal authority.

Director Jamie Johnson said the clause contradicts the sentiments expressed in the preceding sentences, in which a partnership between schools and parents is encouraged. Making parents directors does not imply a partnership, she said.

Director Tammy Fereshetian said adding the clause could help build a better partnership with parents because many parents do not feel they have a voice in their child’s education. Educating children is a shared responsibility between parents and school officials, she said.

Director Peter Ricker agreed with Fereshetian and Shostak, and acknowledged that parents have the majority responsibility in their child’s education.

Director Jessaka Nichols agreed with Fereshetian about shared responsibility but said the word “direct” could result in parents asking that teachers teach their child a specific curriculum different than what has been approved by the school.

Board Chairman Joseph McLean agreed.

Directors finally settled on wording suggested by Fereshetian: “Parents have fundamental rights and responsibility in the education of their children…”

The board will vote on final edits to the draft resolution at a future meeting.

Shostak will present proposed changes to the resolution to association members and officials at an assembly in October.

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