6/18/2014, 3 p.m.
There has not been nor will there ever be another politician who will be able to do what Marion Barry ...
Marion Barry

For too long, too many parents have used the lame excuse of having to “go to work” or that “no one listens to our opinions,” to keep from developing a vested interest in what’s really going on with the District’s public schools.

With those kinds of excuses, these “absentee parents” have chosen instead to strengthen apathetic attitudes that have enabled city and school officials to forge ahead with plans that benefit them more than the youngsters who count on them for acquiring the best possible free education they can get.

While many parents chose not to get involved in the PTA or community meetings and public hearings where they have the ability as individuals or as a group to offset or challenge decisions made without their input and consent, they’re usually the very ones who sit home in front of a TV screen, calling for an ouster once those changes – such as the school closings last year – become final.

I want to thank all the parents – even though their numbers were small –and the members of Empower DC – who sometimes have been the lone voice in the fight for our students’ right to a quality education – for caring enough to take the time on June 2 to organize and participate in the rally at McKinley Technology Education Campus in protest of the PTSA president’s dismissal.

It’s these kinds of parents, community members and activists who can repeatedly hold school officials’ feet to the fire to produce better outcomes for all children enrolled in public schools in the District.

Margie Lawrence

Washington, D.C.