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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Thank you to our schools for maintaining flexibility

The following is a letter to the editor submitted to the Bemidji Pioneer by a reader. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Bemidji Pioneer. To submit a letter, email letters@bemidjipioneer.com or mail it to Bemidji Pioneer, P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56601.

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I read with horror the Feb. 2 letter to the editor by Mark Thorson regarding his criticism of a recent two-hour school delay due to extreme cold weather.

There have been multiple school delays and cancellations this winter. Thorson is correct that these last-minute adjustments can overwhelm parents. But his conclusion -- that we’re hurting workers and raising a generation of soft, lazy kids -- is an irresponsible exaggeration.

As a mom of two young children, one a preschooler in the ISD 31 school system, I remember well the morning Thorson speaks of. Neither of our vehicles would start and my husband was sick and unable to help me.

The creative maneuvering I had to do to get my family out the door was exhausting. For all intents and purposes, that morning I was one of the single working moms that Thorson conveniently uses as an argument. I was in the middle of an important work project that week and the two-hour delay meant working late into the night.

But I am grateful to the school district for giving me extra time to get through the various setbacks that extreme cold weather creates. If I hadn’t had time to get one of my vehicles running, it would have meant keeping my kids at home and missing an entire day of work, not a couple of frustrating hours.

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These are unprecedented times. No one has a perfect solution for the work-life-parenting balance. But public attacks accusing leaders of being weak and not as strong as your generation are unhelpful.

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None of us are lazy right now. We are all overwhelmed and working more than ever. That’s especially true for teachers, administrators, bus drivers and the whole army of people keeping our schools afloat.

When did respecting nature become a sign of weakness? Thorson’s argument simply continues our culture’s unfortunate habit of worshiping productivity above all else.

This is northern Minnesota. It gets dangerously cold here and things break down. That’s part of life. Adjusting to the natural world is not weakness. It’s a practical lesson I want my children to learn -- one of the many things I’m delighted the school system is teaching them.

To all employed by our local schools, please know that you are seen. Thank you for the care and ingenuity with which you daily devote to the wellbeing of my son.

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The following is a letter to the editor submitted by a reader and does not reflect the views of the Pioneer. Letters can be sent to letters@bemidjipioneer.com or P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56601.
The following is a letter to the editor submitted by a reader and does not reflect the views of the Pioneer. Letters can be sent to letters@bemidjipioneer.com or P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56601.
The following is a letter to the editor submitted by a reader and does not reflect the views of the Pioneer. Letters can be sent to letters@bemidjipioneer.com or P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56601.
The following is a letter to the editor submitted by a reader and does not reflect the views of the Pioneer. Letters can be sent to letters@bemidjipioneer.com or P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56601.