In response to an opinion in the Feb. 3 Friday Exchange in The Daily Astorian, "Police in schools":
As a parent of three graduates of the Astoria School District and an attending third grader, I disagree with the opinion that there be a district policy that parents be informed by the school or law enforcement if their child is questioned in a criminal, or any other investigation, the school administration or the Astoria Police Department deem necessary.
How could the Astoria School District create and administer a policy that should attempt to hold law enforcement accountable when Oregon statutes dictate police policy and procedure? And why should they? I believe our children have legal rights, and should be allowed their due process.
Children will be children, but if my child has done something that breaks the law, disrupts the learning process, physically or emotionally hurts another, has information of someone doing the above mentioned, then I support the school administration and police in conducting their investigations with or without my knowledge, as appropriate.
If they are going to be charged with a crime, the law requires that I be informed of the charges. If my teenagers were questioned by authorities and became "very upset and felt extreme duress," maybe they will learn that they should have not done what they are accused of, not try what their friend did because it is not a good choice, or to choose better friends. Life teaches lessons in many ways; not all are pleasant or comfortable for kids to experience, or parents to witness.
As parents, we should solely ask our schools to worry about educating our children and not worry about holding other government agencies accountable. It's the duty of our police to protect our children, sometimes even from themselves. It's our covenant as parents to make sure we are providing a good example for our children, and not disparage those in authority who assist us in the education of our kids.
I understand the writer's position and the protection of his children. The kids had "a month" to tell their parents of the investigation, and after "several hours of taped interviews," I would think the kids would mention the conversations at the dinner table, if upset. Experience has taught me that if my kids wanted me to know something they told me. If not, I found out from their youngest sibling.
Children are shooting their classmates in schools, bullying is taken to extreme and our kids are experimenting with more addictive drugs than alcohol. I would hope an administrator would have my kids' best interests on their mind, instead of worrying about a possible disciplinary action if they fail to administer another rule.
JAMES B. RANDALL