We demand a top shelf education for our kids but for some reason are reluctant to send them to school.

Yesterday's decision to cancel classes was an embarrassment.  We already knew by mid-Monday that the storm would likely be more rain than snow yet officials cancelled school for Tuesday on Monday afternoon anyway.  A decision on school could have and should have been delayed until Tuesday morning when I think most sane people would have believed that it would be safe for our little snowflakes to be exposed to the elements.

Hey, I get that it's a tough decision and that calls concerning bussing become an issue.  I also get that parents have daycare concerns should school be called off.  But, our primary concern should be educating our children.  We dealt with all of the aforementioned issues in the past and somehow we all survived.  If bussing is an issue for the very young and the challenged than perhaps they can be dealt with separately. Except in the most dire of circumstances, our older children should be attending school.   As for daycare issues, that's up to parents to resolve.  Our parents prepared for such events in advance of a storm just in case classes were cancelled.

We just recently enacted "Full Day Fridays" in our district.  Imagine, for 40 years we gave our grade school kids every Friday afternoon off.  Since returning from the holiday recess in January, schools have been closed for a week in February and will close for another week the middle of next month.  In the last week alone schools were closed for two days due to snow storms that did not live up to the hype.  We are served by a district that is considered by the state to be consistently underperforming.  Kids cannot learn if they are not in school.  Ask a teacher what it's like to keep a class focused when instructional time is constantly interrupted by time off.

You pay dearly to educate your children and are constantly being told that we are just able to meet minimum net school spending requirements, as set by the state.  You need to demand that the system better serve your children by providing the instructional personnel, the materials and the facilities necessary to make that happen.  But, most importantly we all need to make sure our kids are attending school.  That means doing what it takes to see that they get there even when the weather is somewhat less than friendly.

Editor's Note: Barry Richard is the afternoon host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from Noon-3pm. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.


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