Summer vacation already too short

April 14, 2009



In 1963, I took my first trip to the north side of town, to R.E. Hunt High School. Of course, I was only in junior high, but it was a big deal. That summer, we went to visit folks in the country, picked plums, chased cattle, rode horses, and sometimes, we just got up at 5:30 just to see the sun rise, and the critters crawling. In those days, the summer seemed to be a whole year long.  


Of course it wasn''t, but for us, it afforded us a three-month break from the cry babies, bullies and the strains of study and testing. It was a time to ponder our achievements in academia, passing from one grade level to another. Summer was a time when children grew in character, stature and in culture.  


It was a time when parents could have a break from worrying about kid''s grades, teacher conferences, principal problems and those things at the schoolhouse that were nine-month- long burdens. It was a break for students, teachers, and parents. Those were the good old days.  


Since those days, we already lost a month of summer off time. Less time to travel, visit family, and otherwise experience life outside the classroom. And we still produced lawyers, scientists, doctors, teachers, etc.  


What I want to know is this. Which mindless members of the school board, who have no children in our public school system, made this bold move to deny our children their summer vacation? 


I know they will say that it depends on their grades, and after all, it is only for 11 months. That is the same rationale, that the same kind of people made when they reduced summer break from three months to two months, and now they want to take away another month. 


I suggest you speak up for your child. I will, because we intend to continue to travel in the summer month(s). There have been no public meetings or forums where these issues were discussed, nor were we included in the decision making on the location of the new school. Oh, I know you voted on it. But you only voted for what they had set you up to vote for. 


Look, I have no bones to pick with any school officials, I believe that they think they are doing the best thing. I beg to differ. They continue to make decisions that adversely affect our children, without consulting us, their parents. Please, don''t stand idly by while they take you children''s "social development" time. Our children need us to speak up now for them, as I remember my summer vacation, and my youthful experiences, so should they. I am not concerned how long they hold school in other countries, this is America, and we sometime do things differently. 


James E. Samuel, Columbus