Insanity grips Northfield School District 29
today at 10:17 am
Yes, that sounds harsh. But how else to describe the rule that parents read in a message sent to parents and guardians from Sunset Ridge School District 29 Superintendent Edward Strange:
Students that are required to quarantine for travel-related reasons (i.e. travel to high risk area), will not be permitted to access remote learning during the [14-day] quarantine period.
It might take a moment for this astonishing rule to sink in. If a student has traveled to a state that has been defined as “high risk,” he or she must quarantine for 14 days before returning to school. That means not only staying out of the school buildings, but also not participating in remote learning.
As if the student could infect other students and staff virtually by being on a computer. Nobody can be that stupid.
Apparently, kicking a kid off remote learning is designed to be a disincentive to travel. By my count, Illinois has declared 15 states, including adjacent Wisconsin, Iowa and Missouri, to be “high risk.” I can think of numerous examples where a family might be required to travel there, such as a relative’s illness or funeral. I can only presume that the school would grant an exception to the rule and allow such a student to return to remote learning. Although I can’t be sure that the high-handed bunch running the Sunset Ridge schools would be that accommodating.
Here’s the thing: What law allows schools to make travel verboten, or simply to discourage it? Is there even a law or regulation that allows schools to forbid remote learning for any reason? In effect, it amounts to a two-week suspension; is discouraging travel by suspension covered under any existing regulations?
For me, the greater offense is school officials getting it into their heads that they have the right or the obligation to get involved in the details of any family’s life. It is beyond arrogance to deny a child an education–even if it is the second-rate remote kind–as a club to push a family around.
Will this craziness infect other school districts? Has it already?
Note to the board and staff of the K-8 District 29: Parents are in charge of their children. They decide what’s best, not you. What you have demonstrated is an affliction that is gripping too many Americans in authority who have used a pandemic to shape other people’s lives in a way that you have decided is best. Let go of it. Please.
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