As of Saturday, January 11, 2014
The Dalles To the editor:
To the lady who was accusing the schools of being “lazy”:
Many of the people working at the schools and other businesses can certainly sympathize with your inconvenience at not having a place for your child before you go to work - many of them are in the same boat. You may not be aware of the fact that even though the children have a two-hour delay, all the teachers and support people have to be at school at their regular time - so they have to have an alternate plan for their children, too. But they have to report at their regular time and prepare for the day just as usual. Are you aware there are almost 3,000 children spread among the schools in District 21?
You may not have thought about why there is a delay in starting the school day, so I’ll give you a couple of reasons: First, the school buses travel out on Cherry Heights, Brown’s Creek, Mill Creek, and 7 Mile Hill roads. Anything above Mosier may or may not be safe, and any other rural road within the area of District 21. Even though your route to town may have already been graveled, plowed, or otherwise made passable, not all the roads are that safe. The most important thing to the school district is and has to be the safety of the children waiting for the bus to come by and be able to safely deliver them to school. Sometimes, as you probably know, 6:30 or 7:00 a.m. can be a very cold and frosty time of day to stand beside the road or in a small shelter, especially if it’s snowing, raining, or the wind is blowing. And, sorry to say, some of those children may not have all the warm clothes they need to keep them warm this time of year. Why are you personally driving your child to school each day? Why don’t you let your child wait for the bus each day?
Next, please remember that the custodians at the schools during winter weather are busy making sure the sidewalks are cleared and sprinkled with sand so parents and children won’t slip and fall as they walk into the building early in the morning, the parking areas within the school property are cleared for vehicles to park safely, the boilers have to be checked to make sure all the rooms are warm and ready for the children, and numerous other “behind the scenes” jobs are done. Again, for the safety of children, parents and all the school employees.
So, even though it might be a bit inconvenient for you to look at the school webpage on a cold morning, that’s better than spending your 8-hour workday stewing about how “lazy” everyone is at the schools.
Diana Weston, Retired school secretary