Letter to Editor: Cancelling school for one sporting event sends wrong message.

March 15, 2019

Letter to Editor: Cancelling school for one sporting event sends wrong message.

By Kelly Leikert, Holland (formerly of Ludington)

Letters to the editor are opinion editorials submitted by readers. Letters to the editor are a long tradition in American journalism. The views and opinions of the writer do not necessarily reflect those of Mason County Press, its staff or its parent company. For more information, please refer to MCP’s Op/Ed policy

Dear Editor,

I am writing in regards to the Ludington Area School District’s decision to have a half-day of school Friday March 15 in recognition of the boy’s basketball game. As a school that has many high quality extra-curriculars, outside of those played inside a gym, what kind of message does this send to students who participate in other activities? They are seen as less than? That school administrators favor boy basketball players more than they do other students, say those involved with the theater production of ‘Schoolhouse Rock Live, Too!’?

As a public school working to “educate and empower students to adapt and succeed in their futures” (taken from LASD Mission Statement), schools are best able to meet that when they are actively providing instruction to students. From nearly all perspectives: student, teacher, administrator, families; half-days provide very little educational benefit. In Mr. Kennedy’s statement, he shared “In an effort to ensure that Friday’s day of instruction counts toward the standard minimum number of days provided for the 2018-2019 school year, the District will be scheduling a half day of instruction on Friday, March 15, 2019.” I question if those involved are more concerned with the day being counted as a day of instruction versus the quality of instruction that will be given?  

I want to recognize my bias in that I am not a sports fan, but do recognize the benefit it brings for those who participate and the community. However, for those students that tend to care very little about the outcome of a basketball game, why is their opportunity to learn being taken from them? Students are students first, and athletes second; I do not see that value being reflected in the decision made.

Concerning some of the more vulnerable students, those receiving special education services, whose voices are often heard less than those involved with athletics; did you consider the many professionals who need to adapt their schedules in order to ensure each students is receiving the services appropriate for them? For those of you who may not be familiar with the many professionals besides teachers involved in providing a quality education, just to name a few: speech and language pathologists, social workers, physical therapists, school psychologists, occupational therapists, and teacher consultants. Or what about the families who are scrambling yet again to find childcare for their kids because they have jobs they need to work?

Ludington Area Schools have had eleven schools days cancelled this year due to inclement weather. Those providing both general and special education services likely have fallen behind their scheduled lesson plans and curriculum, now they have one more unplanned day to try to make up for. As a Ludington High School Alumna, I am ashamed and frustrated with your decision, and hope you realize the implications of this choice beyond ensuring the boys basketball team has a cheering section.

Letters to the editor are opinion editorials submitted by readers. Letters to the editor are a long tradition in American journalism. The views and opinions of the writer do not necessarily reflect those of Mason County Press, its staff or its parent company, For more information, please refer to MCP’s Op/Ed policy

 

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