Elk Grove Unified School District cancel school for Friday, November 16, 2018
Less than 12 hours after deciding to not cancel classes on Thursday, even though the air quality is worse, the Elk Grove Unified School District has decided to cancel class for Friday, November 16. See statement below.
The following is my opinion, not just on this issue, but a variety of issues facing the EGUSD.
I have zero confidence in this district to do anything that ever puts students first. None. Everything is about covering their behinds, hiding things and sweeping them under the rug. This is the case on a variety of issues and they don’t act until parents eventually get fed up and complain. There is no doubt this decision today is due to the intense social media pressure from parents and students. An online petition with 15,oo0 signatures in less than 24 hours, an online poll with 3900 votes, with 77% in favor of closing, in a little over 12 hours.
There have been hundreds of comments on social media about the issue, with some saying suck it up and some sharing stories of their kids being sickened by the smoke. Older kids don’t want to miss school. When something like this is widespread and affects every student and employee in the district, it’s not a case of sucking it up. Some classes had tests scheduled for Friday. Kids don’t want to miss a test and then take 11 days later a makeup.
This is par for the course for the district. Paralysis due to inaction. I have been involved with an anti bullying group for almost two years. Very little has been done about this in the school. We have heard they are working on it, and I believe they are, but when something comes up, literally nothing is done. Kids who defend themselves are punished. Their bullies receive the same punishment and the victim has to leave the school or else it will continue. We know the school is implementing programs to help kids and teach teachers and admins how to handle it, but in the meantime, when something comes up, it needs to be dealt with immediately. Kids being bullied can’t wait for a program to take shape. Bullies need to be dealt with swiftly and there needs to be serious consequences for any future incidents. Any further interaction should result in immediate suspensions. Kids are afraid to speak for fear of retribution by the bully or their friends. Stop worrying about suspension numbers and how it looks for the district. Take action. Stop sweeping stuff under the rug.
When incidents happen at school, the district is slow to respond and let parents know. In this digital age, news travels fast and in minutes it is on social media. Parents often get information from social media, posted by other parents or their kids. Sometimes there are legitimate reasons, like student safety and sometimes it is because the district is trying to downplay incidents. The information will get out and the district always looks bad for holding back. Last month there was a fight at Cosumnes Oaks, that resulted in a large police presence. Information was given out piecemeal, and only because it was already on social media.
There have been other incidents like sexual misconduct by employees and teachers, where finding out information is like pulling teeth. The incident with the crosswalk guard at Marion Mix is a good example. I had to go through 3 agencies to to try and get information, with each one saying ask the other. I finally contacted the Sacramento Bee and said here’s what I know, maybe you can find out more and they did. No one likes bad news, but parents have a right to know what is going on at school. You always look worse for not being transparent. I for one am happy my kids are nearing the end of their time in public school.
Dear Elk Grove Unified Parent or Guardian,
In the Elk Grove Unified School District, the wellness and safety of our students and staff remains our top priority. After careful consideration, continuous monitoring of air quality conditions across our District and thoughtful planning to meet the needs of our students and staff, EGUSD officials have made the decision to close all of its school sites effective Friday, November 16, 2018. The decision to close all District schools during these extraordinary conditions was taken very seriously.
Schools remained open today to provide all students a safe learning environment to ensure they were supervised and fed. The District has been following the recommendations of public officials to keep students indoors, cancel all outdoor activities and limit exposure to smoky air.
To ensure the well-being of our students tomorrow, the District’s food and nutrition services team has worked diligently to prepare an individually packed meal for students who are Free and Reduced Lunch eligible. The meal may be picked up at the student’s school by 5:00 p.m. this evening. As planned, school and District offices will remain closed through the Thanksgiving break.
For information and safety tips related to air quality, please review the following fliers:
Safety Tips for Children
Safety Tips for Residents
For additional Spare the Air information, please visit: http://www.sparetheair.com/wildfire.cfm