Text: There are many who would prefer you to sit down and shut up (including, sometimes, your child), but it is both your right and your responsibility to speak up. Your perspective is valuable, and without it mistakes may be made, misunderstandings may abound, misinterpretations may stand. Speaking out doesn't necessarily make you popular, and getting people to listen and to take you at your word can be a challenge, but you know that the consequences of polite silence -- for your child, for your family, for other children and families who have no voice -- are far more dangerous than getting a reputation for being a big mouth and a troublemaker. Sit down and shut up? Sure -- after you've given everybody an earful.