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Just let me teach
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Sen. Aaron Osmond, R-South Jordan, recently proposed ending compulsory education ("Utah educators question pitch to end compulsory school attendance," Tribune, July 17). Agreed!

As a teacher, I find myself chasing down students smoking joints; questioning students about stolen electronic devices; reporting signs of abuse to counselors; diffusing a parent's verbal abuse of a son or daughter; assessing the facts to determine honesty in a project or exam; and constantly reminding students of due dates.

I had a young man last year whose parents had walked a thousand miles to escape civil war. His father's leg had been shot off during a battle. Now refugees, the father explained that the main reason they're here is so their children can get a good education. Their son understood, and it showed. He worked hard, didn't complain or make excuses, and he succeeded.

Parents, I am not your kid's nanny, cop, detective, case worker, mediator, judge or secretary. I'm a science educator in the state of Utah. Let me focus on what I was trained to do: learn from, learn with, and teach your teens.

Ben Watkins


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