Ivan F. Star Comes Out. Photo courtesy Native Sun News Today
Education | Opinion

Ivan Star Comes Out: Our teachers shouldn't be doing the jobs of the parents

Our teachers cannot do the jobs of the parents

By Ivan Star Comes Out
Native Sun News Today Columnist

I’ve seen and experienced many atrocious situations throughout my life. However, one of the most troubling is to see unemployed and often derelict adult children come home to their parent’s Social Security and/or state social welfare money on a monthly basis. I witnessed this heartbreak as a young boy and I am seeing it still today.

In high spirits, everyone would pile into a vehicle or the elderly couple’s car and go to town. It appeared that everyone got what they wanted on that single day-long trip, whether it was a bicycle chain, 9-volt batteries for a transistor radio, oil for somebody’s car, baby items, clothing, or some other personal need. Alcohol was always on the list of items for the day.

The elder (s) didn’t seem to mind, even if they had just enough left to buy food for a few days. Their primary concern was to make sure their grandchildren were happy since their parents were usually incapable of caring for them. They were usually broke by the day’s end. Then they survived as best they could on their monthly commodity food entitlement augmented by a small vegetable garden.

Caring for relatives is undoubtedly a cultural trait. Many of our elders are caring people and want their loved ones to be happy. Too often, though, they end up being over-protective which often clashes disastrously with the stringency of the dominant industrialized world. In a basic sense, money and cultural protocols do appear incompatible.

Anyway, the main problem with an over-protective parent or grandparent is that they, more often than not, foster individuals who are without boundaries. Then this comes in contact with the handling or mishandling of money. The older ones seemingly fail to see that their little ones are individuals who will grow up with the right to own their own thoughts, opinions, and actions.

Those young ones of long ago, now grandparents themselves, are doing the same thing. Many are school dropouts, active alcoholics, and surviving on fixed incomes. Some are even raising their grandchildren. However, their little ones are not doing well in school which supports a persistent attitude in which the government is responsible for their children’s schooling as well as their upbringing.

Needless to say, and I am not blaming, but the federal government did have a primary hand in this particular situation. It is a historic fact but we must also realize our only hope of reprieve is to be alcohol and drug free, culturally established, and have an “English” education. Local schools are often over-loaded and are in dire need of parental support with educating the youth.

Some of our schools have gone beyond their parameters trying to bring their students up to par while coping with the results of this vicious cycle. Still it is not enough as our dropout rates and academic achievement levels (on the average) remain unchanged. The schools are also the target of discontented, and often resentful, community members.

Support Native media and the rest of the story on the Native Sun News Today website: Our teachers cannot do the jobs of the parents

Ivan F. Star Comes Out can be reached at P.O. Box 147, Oglala, South Dakota, 57764; via phone at 605-867-2448 or via email at mato_nasula2@outlook.com

Copyright permission Native Sun News Today