Facts before fuss | Mark’s Remarks

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Being an educator and living in the community I teach in, I am often stopped in the milk aisle or at the hardware store and asked an opinion on something school related.

Usually, it’s a gripe of some kind and I try to listen with an objective ear. But sorry folks, I am almost always on the side of the teachers and faculty.

I need you to listen to something. Pass this on.  Please spread the word on social media and to all who will listen: decisions concerning school kids are made in the best interest of the kids. Did you hear me? 

The decisions made by school administrators, committees, teachers and what have you are made because we feel it is best for the kids. Plain and simple. Decisions are not made lightly and they certainly aren’t made based on personal preferences of the staff.

Many years ago, when I taught third grade, we decided kids were spending too much time dressing up and parading on the day of their classroom Halloween party. Indeed, one year, by the time the kids dressed up, paraded and came back into the classroom, we had only 15 minutes to party.  This included time for kids to change OUT of their costumes because they didn’t want to get cupcake icing or candy on their costumes. 

Also, there was the security risk of the parade. Kids would dress up, parade up and down a closed-off street attended by anyone who wished to park and walk over to the parade sidelines.

Over the years, as our community practically tripled in size, we experienced some scary times when masked people or “sketchy” folks appeared along the sidelines. Local law enforcement and school administrators decided it was a good idea to nix the parade idea.  We also ended the dressing up aspect, opting to have kids wear their favorite Halloween apparel instead of costumes.

As you may guess, there was an outcry of protest.  It wasn’t from a large group of people, however. It was from the same group of people who seem to squawk about every change the school made.  For the record, most parents and community members agreed and supported the decision of the school. 

Years before that, when I first came to this community, it was tradition to have a school picnic and parade on the last day of school. I thought this was wonderful and I looked forward to it every year. Teachers marched with our classes to the school picnic grounds, rode amusement rides with our students and wished everyone a great summer.  

It was a quaint and lovely small-town tradition that many small communities participated in.  Along the parade route, beaming parents cheered and hollered as all of us marched by.

But over time, once again due to community growth, the parade became a security issue and it was nixed. Everyone was sad.  There was protest, as this decades-old tradition was done away with. But people also understood.

I would encourage any of you to get the facts before you start fussing. Trust your schools and the decisions that are made. As I said, the decisions to change things are not made lightly. We are constantly trying to improve things for kids, helping them to have good experiences in their best interest. 

Facts before fussing, please.

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