Sept. 19, 1984 Dear Superintendent Cody:
I am a noncustodial parent of two children in the Montgomery County public school system . . . . I am writing to you about county policy and practice regarding the system of mailing information from my children's schools . . . .
Please let me state why this should be among concerns that gain your attention. The obvious reason is that children need the support of both parents where such is possible. Last year I missed a performance at my child's school because, unlike other parents, I was not notified of the event. I also miss out on PTA activities as well because they often use your system-generated labels in their mailings . . . .
At the local level this is what for years I have faced. I'll call a school early in September and ask to be on the mailing list. If I happen upon a friendly telephone answerer, maybe I'll get on a temporary list which will last one mailing, maybe two. If someone is hostile . . . then I'm told that the computer will not accept more than one entry . . . .
I have been made to feel like I am intruding on some mystical process, simply by being a noncustodial parent. The discouragement one can receive from schools is not, clearly, in the best interests of our kids. Parents who do not live with their kids regularly need to be kept within the school-home relationship in order to foster good practices, to assist in communications, etc . . . .
Please let me close by noting that it takes persistence to be a noncustodial parent in general . . . . Being turned down by the school system, you see, is one of many small steps that noncustodial parents experience in the decoupling of their lives from their children's . . . .