When you're a parent it's really hard to accept that your child is not always perfect. So when tragedies like the Parkland school shooting happen, many of us, including parents and teachers, begin to wonder what we can do to spot the warning signs.
While some red flags are obvious, there are many that are not as easy to spot. For one Georgia teacher, Amie Diprima Brown, she blames a lack of involvement on parents's part for why some kids end up the way they are.
For fifteen years, Brown has been asking the parents of her students to write a letter describing their child in a million words or less. This is a tactic she employed to help her better understand what every child and their family is like.
"I go on to explain that I want to learn the child's hopes, dreams, fears, challenges, etc, and jokingly ask parents to limit it to less than a million words since we all know we could talk forever about our children," she wrote in a Facebook post.
Over the years, these letters have helped her learn more about her students's struggles, accomplishments and behavior outside of the classroom. Parents have opened up about their child's personality, mental health issues, adoption stories, abuse, bullying, and medical conditions.
However, Brown has noticed that in the last couple of years something has changed, but not in a good way.
"Everybody always talks about how schools have changed, and it’s true, they have," the teacher wrote. "Yes, there’s the “crazy new math” and “bring your own device” changes. However, there are some other changes that I think the general population is not aware of."
The most alarming change she saw was the decline in response rate for her letter assignment. In 2003, she received letters from 98% of parents, but this year, only 22% wrote back.
Following her observation, the frustrated teacher took to Facebook to write a controversial post calling out parents who don't seem to care about their child's education.
As expected, Brown's message was met with both support and hostility.