WACSSO in the news: P&C Chief pleads for parents to behave

19 June 2018 Education Issues

Article published in The West Australian. Written by Bethany Hiatt, Education Editor.

WA Council of State School Organisations president Kylie Catto issued a plea for more civilised behaviour from parents in the latest edition of P&C Voice magazine.

Ms Catto said the installation of a system to monitor calls to the WACSSO office had revealed a “disappointing trend”.

“The office has brought to council’s attention that internal conflict in P&Cs is on the rise, and by far the most reported topic, which is cause for concern,” she said.

“I’d like to offer a timely reminder that, as volunteers, your reputation is your credibility.” Ms Catto said if a P&C developed a “less-than-positive” reputation, people in the school community were more likely to question its members’ credibility, knowledge, leadership and professionalism.

“And while it’s reasonable that we don’t always agree with each other, how we disagree is very important,” she said.

“All too often we are hearing of people taking to social media and making negative, disparaging and sometimes defamatory comments.

“These types of actions are not helpful and they rarely result in a productive outcome, rather they inflame situations which, if better handled early on, could be easily resolved.” Ms Catto said WACSSO was working on a new constitution which would include provisions for resolving disputes within P&Cs.

She told The West Australian she wrote the article to highlight the need to focus on influencing constructive conversations.

“That’s the example we want set for our kids and that’s the society that we want to live in,” she said.

Ms Catto said she understood that volunteer groups were under increasing pressure to do more with less money and fewer people.

“Sometimes we need to appeal to people’s better judgment, concentrating on those core values of humanity that we should all hold,” she said.

“My message is that if there are concerns, social media is not the place to air them, there are more appropriate channels.”