Whose Failing Grade Is It?

Lisa Belkin, via a kind reader’s email:

SINCE the subject today is schooling, let’s start with a quiz:
1. A third grader in Florida is often late for class. She tends to forget her homework and is unprepared for tests. The teacher would like to talk to her parents about this, but they fail to attend parent-teacher conferences. The teacher should:
a) fail the student.
b) fail the parents.
2. A middle-school student in Alaska is regularly absent, and his grades are suffering as a result. The district should:
a) fail the student.
b) fine the parents $500 a day for every day the student is not in school.