Last time I checked, the purpose of school is to teach. A quick glance at the official logo for Warren County Schools conveys the motto, "One team, one goal, high levels of learning for all."
It's an inspiring motto until we consider the greatest science experiment of our lifetime is about to hit Middle Tennessee this Monday. And our School Board has responded by canceling school for the day.
What a letdown. I'd compare it to canceling church for Easter.
We have what's been called an incredible "teaching moment" where the sun and the moon literally align just right. Our answer to this moment, which won't be seen in Tennessee again for more than 500 years, is to cancel class.
I guess we can forget about the hands-on opportunity. Our kids can learn about the eclipse from a textbook. This is a move which makes absolutely no sense.
I was told Thursday morning by a School Board member that the board was eager to get feedback from principals and teachers about having classes on eclipse day. That's an interesting concept indeed.
Hey teachers and principals, would you like to come to work on Monday, or would you rather stay home and still get your full pay? I can't imagine what the answer to that question might be. Why doesn't someone ever give me that option?
I wonder if we're canceling school just because everyone else is too. Just two days ago, our school system was full speed ahead on having classes, even going so far as to have a special lunch menu in all school cafeterias.
But we were beginning to stand out in the decision to stay open. DeKalb County, for example, announced last week it's canceling school for the eclipse. And, I'm left to surmise, it would be terrible if we weren't exactly like DeKalb County.
We try to teach kids to be strong enough to be themselves, to be unique, then our school systems are one big copycat of each other. What one of them does, they all do.
I agree completely with the statement which was released by the Metro Nashville School Board in response to having school during the eclipse.
The statement said, "We had originally planned not to have school on the day of the eclipse, but were asked by the mayor to reconsider that decision as she felt strongly that young students could encounter safety issues if they were left home without supervision on that day."
A supervised school environment is the best place for children to experience the eclipse and learn from it. Sending them home will only send them in front of their cellphone or electronic device of choice.
Director of Schools Bobby Cox admitted half the people will like this decision and the other half won't. Put me down as someone who does not like this decision.
Our school system should have embraced this once-in-a-lifetime science project, not found an excuse to cancel class like everyone else.
Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.