Thursday, November 13, 2008

Inaugurate This!

This happens every four years... School systems are falling all over themselves trying to figure out whether to be open on Inauguration Day. The pressure is even higher than normal in Prince George's County because of the historical nature of the event, and one school board member there says there's no point in trying to stay open because no one - staff or students- will show up anyway.

I have conflicted feelings about this. I am all for letting students off IF they will use the day to go down to the Mall and take in the ceremonies. The only problem is there's no way of proving they will do so. In addition, January 20th comes the day after MLK day, which means it would be a four-day weekend. Some families will use that as an excuse to go out of town, and they won't be observing the change of administrations anyway.

Teachers in some counties are pushing for the day off, presumably so they can join the hoards on the Mall as well. I think they should perhaps put their money where their mouths are. Our school systems are struggling to meet their budgets, and are considering furloughs in many places. How about giving everyone the day off, and count it as a furlough? It would save money and allow everyone to celebrate at the same time.

I have been to three inaugurations - and those were back in the days before heavy security measures were in place. If you like freezing your assets off, standing in long security lines and not really being able to see anything, then I think you'll enjoy Inauguration Day. I will happily stay home, thank you.

In any case, whether schools are closed or not, they need to be using the inauguration as a learning experience. If schools are open, they should be shutting down instruction to let kids watch the ceremonies, and they should plan quizzes and other activities around it.

If schools are closed, there oughta be a quiz on Wednesday!

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