What the HAYnes? Compulsory education, liars and the parental mandate

HUMOR – Utah state Sen. Aaron Osmond, R-South Jordan, recently made a proposition, in an article he wrote for The Senate Site, that might cause a few high school students to momentarily remove their earbuds, roll their eyes, and try to act disinterested, even though it is completely obvious that they are interested: Osmond suggested that the state of Utah “take a close look at” repealing compulsory public education.

My first reaction to this news was a spontaneous celebratory dance, for two reasons. First, I hate all of the “Back to School!” propaganda that is shoved down my throat at this time of year. I do not care what the Target marketing department wants me to think, this is not an exciting time of year. School equals work. You are not tricking anyone.

Second, I dislike being compelled to do things. When our government compels me to do something, my first instinct is to flip our government the figurative bird and do the opposite of that thing. Admit it: We have all felt this way at the DMV when the DMV lady tells us that our laminated birth certificate is invalid after we have waited in line all morning.

My children inherited this character trait from me. They do not like to be compelled to do anything, be it getting in the bath, getting out of the bath, going to bed, getting out of bed – you get the idea. Immature people, i.e. children and Elise Haynes, rebel when they are compelled to do things, even if those things are for the benefit of all.

After years of practice, I have trained myself to hide my disdain for authority and innate laziness from my children. For the benefit of my children I pretend that “Back to School!” is an exciting time, just like I pretend that broccoli tastes good and getting out of bed in the morning is fun. Responsible parents are the most convincing of liars.

Sen. Osmond suggests that parents are responsible for the educational success of their children and that we need to shift our mindset so that education is seen as an opportunity and not an obligation. He said that under our current system, “ … teachers rarely receive meaningful support or engagement from parents and occasionally face retaliation when they attempt to hold a child accountable for bad behavior or poor academic performance.”

The cost of public education is everyone’s burden, therefore students and their parents need to be held responsible for failure to meet behavioral and academic standards. I agree with Sen. Osmond, but I do not think the rewording of state laws will change the fact that lazy parents exist and that public teaching is tough, and it’s a grossly underpaid gig.

I do not trust that other parents are as proficient at responsibly lying to their children as I am so I suggest that education remains mandatory in some form or another.

But Utah does need to take a close look at public education. Maybe instead of looking at the wording of the laws we should look at how much we are paying our teachers in relation to the importance of the job they are doing. I would happily fork out a few extra tax dollars for our teachers. I will even smile convincingly as I do so. My years of responsible parental lying will come in handy.

Related posts


Elise Haynes chronicles family life in her blog Haynes Family Yard Sale. Any opinions stated in this column are her own and not necessarily those of St. George News.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.



Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!


  • Pay for your own kids August 10, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    Utah parents act entitled when it comes to schooling for their children, acting as if the government isn’t forking over enough money to pay for their kids. The attitude seems to be: have a bunch of kids, take advantage of all the tax breaks, take advantage of all the government programs and then demand that the government do more. I’m tired of paying for everyone’s kids.

    • Chris August 10, 2013 at 8:03 pm

      I am tired too, Pay. Instead of giving people tax deductions and exemptions for each child in their families, everyone should pay extra tax for each child they have in the educational system. The bigger your family, the greater the burden you place on society in general, and you should be paying accordingly. If everyone had to pay their own way, I suspect the birthrate would fall dramatically. I currently have two children in the school system, and I would be happy to pay my share in proportion to the cost my children incur.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.