A school where parents can learn their role

The Collectivité in partnership with the prefecture has just opened a school for parents.

Being a parent is not an easy task and some easily end up over their heads. There are immediate consequences for the children. The first one is reflected by school absenteeism and dropping out of school. “This is unacceptable. It’s not unusual to see children in the streets at 8pm, or even 10pm", said the president Aline Hanson.

Since 2009, a structure exists in Saint-Martin  - the Conseil des droits et devoirs des familles (Council for family rights and duties) which helps families in difficulties. In seven years, they have received forty-two families. Today, Aline Hanson wants to go further. Therefore, she wanted a school for parents; an initiative in partnership with the prefecture in the framework of the City Contract which was signed in December 2015.

Established and designed with the members of the Conseil local de sécurité de prévention de la délinquance (the Local delinquency security and prevention council - CLSPD) hosted by Hénoc Patrick, the school for parents is intended to be "an indispensable place of exchanges”. "The actions will be provided in four workshops: parents’ rights and duties, child/parent relations, daily life management and coffee discussions", explained Hénoc Patrick. They will be hosted by the prevention brigade (gendarmerie), a psychologist and an economic adviser. The purpose is not to blame the parents for failing their children’s education, but to restore their confidence and show them how they should behave. "Parents are often disarmed, we will explain basic things," pointed out the prefect Anne Laubies.


This 10-hour program will be spread out over a six-month period. "If it’s deemed necessary that it should be continued, it will be", assured Aline Hanson.

Parents who follow these workshops must sign a contract and abide by it. The parents invited to participate will be those whose children are considered to be the most in difficulty in school. A selection will be made by the school principals particularly according to the number of hours, or even days, of absenteeism. A notification will then be issued by the territorial police.

The ambition of the school for parents is to allow children to reintegrate so that they don’t linger in the streets and don’t fall into the spiral of violence and delinquency when they are older. "It’s absolutely necessary to tackle this problem early. The more prevention actions are implemented early, the less we will have delinquency issues", agreed Aline Hanson and Anne Laubies. "I believe in this type of initiative which must allow young people to have a future and feel good in society and to believe in the future", added the prefect.

A 19,000 Euros BUDGET

The cost for implementing the school for parents comes to 19,000 euros. It’s one of the actions in the fight against delinquency. “It’s a priority here in Saint-Martin. That’s why President François Hollande had announced an increase in public funds in May 2015 during his visit; which was the case last year and which is still the case this year. We thus went from 25,000 to 50,000 euros," said the prefect, Anne Laubies.

The school for parents is hosted by the association chaired by Paul Whit, the Foundation for Hope and Music Developement.



Estelle Gasnet