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Letter: If School Has Power, Why Keep Kids Home?

WESTON, Conn. ? The following letter is from Weston resident Ingrid Milne, who describes herself as the "mother of four Weston students, all bored, cold and in need of education."

As we all struggle together through this frustrating time, I would like to call for a thorough review of the policy around school closure. According to statements from the Superintendent of Weston Schools, the week-long close is caused by buses being unable to travel down some of our roads, though they are passable for cars.  Thus, as we are unable to provide some Weston students with bus transportation to school, we cancel a whole week of school for all students. This is a bad call.

The schools have power, parents have cars or other options and yet all our Weston students are forced to stay home with no power, water or heat, no entertainment and worst of all, no education. Working parents have severe childcare issues to deal with and very difficult choices to make – young children that cannot be left at home in a cold, unheated house with a babysitter, inability to take so many days off work.

Why can’t we think creatively and come up with an alternate plan when buses are not available? How about we have parents drop students at school by car? How about students who live close to the school cycle or walk? Is it a legal issue? Then have parents sign a waiver that they will not hold the school responsible if they have an accident on the way to school. Is it an issue of access for all, with some children having parents who cannot take them to school? Then consider the alternative, all children forced to stay home in freezing conditions with no power.

I call for a reassessment of the school closure policy. Let’s make a plan so we are prepared for next time. Lack of bus transportation is not a good enough reason to deny our children their right to education and normalcy. It’s time to get our kids back in school, learning and having as normal a week as possible, not home shivering or traveling to public shelter.

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