Letter to the Editor

Letter: Don't let schools close too quickly

Friday, February 19, 2010

I read with great interest Barbara Kennedy's article about schools closing too quickly for weather considerations. As a school board member, I admire her fortitude in publishing her thoughts.

But, I am not a school board member, so I have no reluctance in agreeing with her and taking it even further. My qualification for these comments is in raising 3 daughters in the public school system over a period of 21 years, given their age differences. In five states.

The bulk of her article dealt with the technicalities of different occurrences in the modern-day school system. Various teacher-meeting days, state-mandated situations where the children are not in school, programs such as "No Child Left Behind," state-mandated days of instruction, weather-days and so forth.

You don't have to be genius to understand that the bottom line is "no school today" for most any reason, especially weather. Don't feel bad and think I am picking on the Marshall County School System, or even the Tennessee State School System. It's the same everywhere. Except Pennsylvania, unless they have changed drastically in the last 10 years. Those kids go to school darn near no matter what.

An important part of her comments is in the end where she said "these same people would be appalled if they went to Kroger's or McDonald's (or the hardware store or beauty parlor) and they were CLOSED. Our (your) kids are treated like a bunch of babies while they need to be toughened up to the big disaster they are facing -- LIFE!! Sure, there are some schools in some locations that it might not be SAFE to try to get them to school on any given day, but that doesn't justify shutting down a whole school system. Yes, I know that when you don't do everything everyday for the whole system it complicates the book-keeping some, but that is what you have school principals and administrators for -- to keep track of where they are in the curriculum curve and catch up when they need to. No, they don't have to hire more aides to do that.

Our present and future generations of kids need to prepare themselves for an ever-increasingly tougher world out there and, given the seemingly increasing number of them that do not make it to college these days, we should be doing a better job of it in the high-school level. Give them a better chance of making it.