There has been quite a bit of controversy over the topic of twins sharing a classroom. Although it’s nothing new, the continual rise in twin and multiple birth has helped bring it to the forefront. As more and more parents are faced with this touchy situation, more and more stories are being covered on news stations, in newspapers, and on the internet.
At the heart of this controversy, and most upsetting part to parents, is that countless schools across the country still maintain the power to decide if twins will be placed together or in separate classrooms regardless of how the parents or even twins themselves feel about it. Some even have mandatory separation policies in place. As you can imagine, this does not sit well with those who are raising multiple birth children.
The thing is, most of these polices have no solid reasoning. They have no basis on actual twin research and no concern for the individual needs of twin or multiple children. I have heard and read the most heartbreaking stories from parents struggling with these guidelines. Just read this article about a Seattle school district’s bizarre student-assignment system.
Parents are largely willing to work as a team with teachers to decide if placement together or separately is best for their children, and some schools will work flexibly this way. But, for a myriad of others there is no option but to stick it out. Even to the detriment of their twins’ psychological well being. At least for families with the opportunity, the choice to move their children to a private school where they have more say so will remedy the situation.
Luckily, there has been a national parental movement to enact state to state legislation supporting flexible placement policies for families with multiples. It has come to be known as the “Twins Law” and was first enacted in Minnesota in 2005. There have since been several other states who have followed suit. Though, various states still have only sponsored bills and scores of others are awaiting sponsorship. If you are a parent, guardian, or relative, of twins or multiples and want to have a voice on this important issue please visit the Twins Law.com home page. You can see if your state is affected and find out how to help.
Originally published on Twin Pregnancy and Beyond