Dear Students: Why We're Out 4/13/18
April 11, 2018
It was announced today that we will cancel instruction in two days. As this is pre-arranged with no inclement weather in sight, many of you are inquiring as to why there is no school.
It’s a long, sad story involving mishandled money. And the story begins long before you ever drew your first breath. And there is a deadline.
Even though we won’t be in class on Friday, please understand you will still be learning. There are things called “experiential learning”, which is a very fancy way of saying you learn something by simply living through it and watching. So even though you will not be with me on Friday, here are some lessons you’ll learn due to canceled school:
•The Power of Democracy When we were out that one Friday due to Sewer Sickness (and let me tell you that virus was running RAMPANT all over the state of Kentucky), some people went to Frankfort to share their thoughts via rally at the Capitol. When we demonstrated with our signs and chants we showed that a democratic government is truly a government of the people, for the people, and by the people. Democracy is the reason we were able to congregate. Democracy is the reason we were able to make our voices heard. Democracy is the reason we were able to conduct these rallies and demonstrations secure in the knowledge that even though we had differing opinions on how to solve a problem, we would not be harassed or imprisoned simply because we disagreed with the person in charge. Democracy is the reason our legislators MUST listen to us. Democracy is definitely powerful and underutilized.
•The Power of the Bill of Rights It’s easy to forget that we have the freedom of speech, the right to assemble, and protest peacefully. Canceling school for the day affirms those rights. Canceling school and seeing your teachers able to disagree with someone, especially politicians, shows that the Bill of Rights is important. Thanks to the 1st Amendment, just because someone is in charge of something doesn’t automatically ensure we will like everything that person does, constantly agree with them, and follow their words and actions blindly. We can assert ourselves. We’ve got free speech. Use it in a constructive way.
•Power of Literacy We are powerful because we are readers. We can read things on our own and decide if something (like a bill or law) or someone (like a representative) needs a change.
•Power of Teamwork Friday we are out because so many people wanted to attend the rally in Frankfort. If one or two people had said they wanted to go, we would be in class tomorrow. But so many people said they wanted to go and show their thoughts they would take a day off. If so many people (over 1/3 the last time, I’m not sure how many this time) had not said this we would be in school. And there will be a LOT of people in Frankfort supporting teachers who are not from Lexington. Take a good look at them-there are people who have light hair, dark hair, or bald. These people are working with other people who may have a different skin color, wear different clothing, or cheer for that basketball team you don’t like. However, when we all get together we don’t see skin colors, clothes, or fans. The only visible thing we’ll see are teachers who work together.
•You MATTER!! Many of you receive a bag of food Fridays in order to not go hungry over the weekend. Since we're not there Friday, food bags will be available a day early. And you're not the only ones with people who care so deeply. All across the Commonwealth students will be able to get their weekend meals. And in some districts, school personnel hand delivered bags to the families were were unable to make it into the building. Why? Because your education, your health, your well-being, your life is important. You matter!
•Power of Family I know you sometimes get sick of me saying our classroom is a family, and sometimes don’t believe it. But it’s true-and tomorrow shows that. People in education are a family. And just like you don’t like people picking on your brother or sister, lots of Kentuckians (and citizens from all over) will defend us if you try to do something that may not be good.
•Power of Action You will learn there are things in this world worth fighting over. Earlier we talked about how so many people had called in sick before that the entire district had to cancel school. Please understand no teacher or school wants to call of school, especially this close to KPREP and MAP testing. However, canceling school shows that the action of showing up in Frankfort is something very, very important to many teachers.
•Power of Setbacks It’s called a set back, not a set down and never get up again. I honestly don’t know what will happen. But I do know this-you will be able to see myself and other teachers across the state (and even in some cases other states) come to work on Monday. Not sure if we’ll be somber or celebrating, but we will continue to give you the best education we can provide.
I know many of you have questions about all of this. Some I will be able to answer, some I will not. But I hope that you understand that though we will not see each other tomorrow (unless you intend to show up at the rally in Frankfort, and knowing the hearts you have some of you will beg your families to take you), there is still plenty to learn.