Lead Letter to Editor

March 21, 2013

Lead Letter
Letters from Readers

Bring Back Family Classes in the Schools

There have been several letters and opinion pieces in the TU over the past few months about what is lacking in our school system – that art, music and physical education are vital to the student experience.

And with a new superintendent of schools, we’re focused on what’s working and what isn’t.

A recent TU editorial stated (regarding the 125,000 students in Duval County public schools): “They need to be able to graduate capable of upgrading their skills for a lifetime.”

I couldn’t agree more; however, most students graduate from high school with few job skills OR life skills.

Vocational and work-related programs are located at the two skills centers, and Family and Consumer Sciences classes that teach life skills are practically non-existent.

These were the classes that prepared students for their role as employee or co-worker, spouse or partner, parent or friend, and many other relationships that come along in life. These were the classes that taught students how to manage finances, to buy a car, insurance, or clothing, and make wise investments as well as other consumer decisions.

These were the classes that taught students about healthy lifestyles including nutrition and wellness.

A recent TU commentary (Adam Hollingsworth) stated regarding fatherhood: “Why then are there so few instruction manuals for dads?” He further states that parenting is the best example of on-the-job training.

Even Dr. Phil recently stated that there is no preparation for parenthood.

But there WAS; it was taken out of the schools when Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) classes were thought to be obsolete for today’s students.

Take a look around at families in economic trouble, people who don’t know how to raise their kids, the obesity epidemic across the country. Family and Consumer Sciences won’t solve all these problems, but it certainly will teach students the skills needed for life in order to become productive and healthy members of our society.

Maybe it’s time to bring it back.

Lina Ingraham