As the internet cancers its way across the globe, stripping some humans of their self-worth, peace of mind, common sense, focus and morals, it looks like it has another target in its site.
Evidently, all the lost opportunities, lost events, and lost experiences brought on by the pandemic were not enough. Now we must strip our kids of one of life’s most joyous occasions – an occasion that sticks with someone forever.
I don’t get it. How and when did we lose the ability to plan a school year with built-in snow days and make it work? Is it a simple case of “because we can, we should”? Is it about money? Or, are some schools just not good enough to get it done anymore?
Zoom and other online learning tools have been a saviour during this pandemic, that is a fact. Still, I don’t know about you, but I have zero interest in living the “Pandemic Lifestyle” after this thing is gone. That kind of thinking is quite sad and reeks of anti-social behavior.
On the other side of the ball though, for some schools, I can see the benefit of teaching online during what would have been a snow day.
For whatever reason, some schools close at the first utterance of the word “snow”.
Schools in outlying rural areas where the roads are steep, unplowed, and unsafe to travel also call off school more than others.
With so many days off, I can see why online learning could benefit those schools.
But instead of stripping children of one of the most natural and joyful rites of passage, maybe keep the built-in snow days and then, after those are used up, do online learning.
Similar to when schools stopped teaching cursive for a while and didn’t replace it with anything close to what the process of learning cursive can do for the brain, snow days will not be replaced with something even close to the happiness they bring.
Although Webster has taken away snow days this year at the high school, I’m thankful to say that at least for now, both the Webster Groves and Kirkwood school districts are planning to have at least some real snow days next year.
According to a survey by EdWeek Research Center, 39% of schools are discontinuing snow days. In that article, an anti-snow day proponent said that he thinks snow days are “only around because adults have nostalgia for their childhood snow day experiences.” Oh those wretched adults. Well guess what, genius? Eventually children turn into adults. I can only assume he didn’t actually realize how that worked.
So here we have something that happens when we are young that is a happy and joyous experience. So happy and joyous that it remains with us through adulthood. Oh yeah, that’s gotta go. We must replace that lifelong happy feeling that serves as a bridge to our youth with ... nothing.
Back when the U.S. ranked higher in education we were able to have snow days and teach kids.
I guess if they’re removing that happiness they should at least be honest with the kids. Tell them that maybe one day drinking and eating can fill the hole where that happiness used to be. That’s been a growing trend here in the U.S. for decades. We’re moving up the rankings in those areas.
Or maybe lack of real happiness is the problem. I don’t see how removing more helps.
I think it’s time we stop treating our kids like guinea pigs for tech companies. There’s no telling what they’ll do with all the information they’re collecting.
This column is the second in a series chronicling how the rise of the internet has had a negative impact on journalism and society in general.