Discouraging Parent Involvement


Parent Role in School Improvement 


Common & Easy ways to discourage Parental and/or Community Involvement (this page)


40+  Ideas to Promote Parent/Community Participation in SAC


State statutes require SAC election procedures; does your district provide election procedures?


Parent Elections for SAC Positions - various methods and how to's...



Rubber Stamps.  Make the group truly a waste of time by making them a rubber stamp for administration. 


Don't tell anyone of the meetings, where they are, what time they take place, or even that you have a committee!!  (District direction to enforce the sunshine laws would help here)


Speak in the foreign educational acronyms and glare when you get questions!


Say things like: 
. . . "This is the way we have been doing it for 9 years" ...or 
. . . "Why should we change?".... or 
. . . "This is the way we do it here" ... or 
. . . "This is the way we did it at ...school-name."

From DOE SAC training  -  MORE Communication Stoppers: 
. . ."Great idea, but it won't work." (manipulating)
. . . "I've been a teacher for 10 years and I know what's best!" (acting superior)
. . . "That's not an appropriate goal for this school." (judging/criticizing)
. . . "He didn't come to school ready to learn." and/or 
. . . "He should have learned manners at home." (attacking personality)
. . . "Oh, how boring!" (avoiding) 
. . . "That's a good idea, but let's go back to what I was saying." (gatekeeping)


Don't train your members.  If they don't know what their duties and responsibilities are, they will never interfere.  


Have outspoken, forceful or domineering members - this could be parents, community, principal, staff or faculty.  The chair must try to steer discussion away from  this type of meeting behavior.  


Have faculty domination of a meeting or just the faculty part of SAC making the decisions  (more school personal than parents /community at a meeting - fill a room with teachers and a few token parents).  


Principal domination of the meeting and  the decisions.


One way to stop a good discussion is to tell your SAC that all decisions will be arrived at by consensus. What that immediately suggests is that anyone with a contrary opinion should shut up. We'd never have the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution in the form they are in if the Founding Fathers had insisted on consensus. (submitted by: Don Goodall, Pinellas Co. SAC volunteer.)  (Authors Note:  Consensus is the DOE recommended way for SAC to do business, but Don has a valid point about voting.  Sometimes I have been the only "nay" vote in a SAC issue and I would never be able to arrive at a consensus with that issue)


This is an unfortunately common occurrence:  When a parent or community member questions an action of SAC or asks that laws be followed regarding SAC, some districts & principals have been known to suggest that they (principals/district) are only really concerned about the students (not all the rules and regulations), thus silently alluding to the fact that the parent doesn't.  Intimidation.  The law is not difficult to follow and this type of statement shows the lack of training in regards to School Advisory Councils.

The Remedies for above problems: 

Training, district policy and direction, bylaws, ground rules, and effective leadership


"education without character is a sin" ~Ghandi~


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