A bill has been filed in the New York State Senate to require parents of grade school children to take four parenting classes or the children would not be allowed to enter the seventh grade.
The bill was filed by Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. (D-Bronx). According to comments Diaz made to US News and World Report, Diaz says the parenting classes need to be mandatory because many parents don’t come to optional parent-teacher conferences.
The bill would require the New York State Education Department to establish 12 parenting courses – of which parents would select four to attend. Diaz envisions the classes helping parents deal with issues such as sexual orientation, bullying and suicide, and the bill specifically mandates a course on physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Employers would be required to provide one day of paid leave annually to allow parents to attend.
Diaz says parents who feel capable of raising their children without state-provided instruction shouldn’t be upset by the proposal.
“We are not saying they are irresponsible,” Diaz says. ”We are trying to expand their skills. Especially good parents would not miss an opportunity to expand their parental skills and get involved with their children’s psychological problems.”
Diaz introduced a similar bill last year; however, it did not make it out of the Senate Education Committee.