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School concerns sure have changed

By Darcy L. Fargo

Darcy Fargo

September 2, 2020

Dressed in matching red corduroy jumpers, white shirts and white tights, my twin sister and I, along with our older sister, waited for the bus at the end of the driveway. For my twin sister, Deanna, and me, it was the first day of kindergarten.

While I don’t recall what happened next, my family loves to tell the story. Apparently, another student on the bus refused to let my twin sister share his or her seat on the bus. Always the more assertive of our twin pair, I didn’t tolerate my sister being mistreated (well, unless I was the one mistreating her). As my family tells it, I threw the other child – the one who wouldn’t let Deanna share the seat – onto the floor of the bus. From what I’m told, I was almost kicked off the bus for my behavior.

As we prepare for the start of the 2020-21 school year, I was thinking it would be nice if misbehavior on the bus (though I still stand by my action, even if I don’t remember it) was the worst thing we had to worry about.

I can’t remember a more challenging school year in my lifetime. I’m pretty confident there’s never been one.

As a parent, I feel like no decision regarding this school year is without risk. If I send my son to school, am I risking his health? If I don’t send him to school, and I sign him up for remote learning, am I risking his mental health and social development?

Knowing how I’m feeling about this school year, I can’t imagine how tough it’s been for those making decisions about the school year and those tasked with putting those decisions into practice – the school administrators, faculties and staffs. No matter what decision they make, someone will be upset, angry or disappointed. No decision will make every stakeholder 100 percent happy. Yet they persisted.

Having talked to Sister Ellen Rose Coughlin, superintendent of our diocesan Catholic Schools, as well as some of the principals of those schools over the last two weeks, I can say with confidence that they’ve been working thoughtfully, carefully and prayerfully to bring students back to school in the safest way possible.

They’ve been planning extensively developing plans to meet every guideline and meet the needs of all the students entrusted to their care.

I’ll be joining my prayers with theirs and hoping for the safest possible school year for all.

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