Opinion

Parent expresses exclusion concerns at RSU 29

 

To the editor;

We are living in troubled times, but I can only assume people would do what they could to make life as normal and stress-free as possible. Which is why I am troubled at the interaction I recently had with RSU 29 school officials.

My two children attend HES. As of March 2021, they have been doing remote learning, which is something the school offered to the community. They have come and gone a few times to the school for in person testing, but for the most part, interact with teachers and classmates via Zoom. They miss everyone. 

The end of the school year is here and the last few days of school are full of fun and parties, while saying good-by to friends and teachers. Pajama day is coming up, with movies and popcorn. It’s one day. I was told by the superintendent that my children could not attend — even with a mask. As a matter of fact, she told me that the reason was because my children “were not part of the school classroom.” 

Superintendent Halliday, my children are just as much part of the school system as any other child. I do not recall being told that if families took advantage of the remote learning program, that their child(ren) would be excluded from being part of the class. 

Being away from their classmates is hard enough on them, so how in the world is attending one day of movies and popcorn during pajama day, harmful? What mandate does that fall under? Who is really in charge of excluding our children? 

From what I understand, the number of remote children are few and since mandates are slowly being lifted, why not let ALL children enjoy the end of school events and kick off their summer with a bang? If we, as parents, are not advocates for our children, then who will have their best interests at heart? Apparently not the principal of HES or the superintendent of schools in Houlton.

Michelle Henderson
Houlton, Maine

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