Insanity grips Northfield School District 29 (Updated)


Sunset Ridge School, Northfield, Illinois

Sunset Ridge School, Northfield, Illinois

UPDATE: North Shore school district backs off proposed COVID-19 policy keeping quarantined kids off remote learning: ‘There are no travel police'

Yes, that sounds harsh. But how else to describe the rule that parents read in a message sent to parents and guardians from Sunset Ridge School District 29 Superintendent Edward Strange:

Students that are required to quarantine for travel-related reasons (i.e. travel to high risk area), will not be permitted to access remote learning during the [14-day] quarantine period.

It might take a moment for this astonishing rule to sink in. If a student has traveled to a state that has been defined as "high risk," he or she must quarantine for 14 days before returning to school. That means not only staying out of the school buildings, but also not participating in remote learning.

As if the student could infect other students and staff virtually by being on a computer. Nobody can be that stupid.

Apparently, kicking a kid off remote learning is designed to be a disincentive to travel. By my count, Illinois has declared 15 states, including adjacent Wisconsin, Iowa and Missouri, to be "high risk." I can think of numerous examples where a family might be required to travel there, such as a relative's illness or funeral. I can only presume that the school would grant an exception to the rule and allow such a student to return to remote learning. Although I can't be sure that the high-handed bunch running the Sunset Ridge schools would be that accommodating.

Here's the thing: What law allows schools to make travel verboten, or simply to discourage it? Is there even a law or regulation that allows schools to forbid remote learning for any reason? In effect, it amounts to a two-week suspension; is discouraging travel by suspension covered under any existing regulations?

For me, the greater offense is school officials getting it into their heads that they have the right or the obligation to get involved in the details of any family's life. It is beyond arrogance to deny a child an education--even if it is the second-rate remote kind--as a club to push a family around.

Will this craziness infect other school districts? Has it already?

Note to the board and staff of the K-8 District 29: Parents are in charge of their children. They decide what's best, not you. What you have demonstrated is an affliction that is gripping too many Americans in authority who have used a pandemic to shape other people's lives in a way that you have decided is best. Let go of it. Please.


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  • > As if the student could infect other students and staff virtually by being on a computer. Nobody can be that stupid.

    It is telling what you think of your own argument that you have to throw this in there. If you thought you had a reasonable argument to make, you would just make it. Instead, you felt like you needed to throw in a needless dig, just make up something in the hope that it will influence the feelings of your reader, right?

    I wonder why you didn't have enough confidence in your own argument to just go ahead and make it?

  • In reply to BillDCat:

    Nice try at a distraction. The action was stupid and an over-reach.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    If you thought the action was stupid and an over-reach, you would have just made that argument...

    Anything else ridiculous you want to claim to try to taint everyone else's opinion?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to BillDCat:

    This is an opinion blog not a news story.

  • In reply to Ken Dietz:

    That's fine. Doesn't say much about his opinion if he has to try these ridiculous argument tactics in order to present it, does it?

  • Dennis:

    First your headline is offensive and while it’s clickbait, you should likely be more sensitive.

    Second, the program is pretty obvious to me. The school can’t have kids jumping in and out of different programs (in school and remote learning only). It’s difficult enough to manage the curriculum as it is...having kids jump back and forth, won’t work. Further, they likely have different learning tracks and may not be exactly in the same spots week to week.

    Just like a kid that’s on vacation to grandma’s house for two weeks, can’t just pop on in to the school where gramma can’t just pop over to remote learning and back again within the district either.

    Stop being the media that in flames people to opposing sides, ask for interviews with those you criticize and real journalism.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to BrentDPayne:

    I can't figure out what your argument is. You seem to be for and against the ban at the same time. And, again, this is an opinion blog not a news story.

  • In reply to Ken Dietz:

    It's unreasonable to ask the District29 or any other school district to have interchangeable tracts for education. Either you pick in-school or you pick remote learning only. You can't flip flop back and forth. The school has a LOT of operational aspects they are taking into consideration to do these programs.

    They aren't trying to block kids or shame parents and kids. They are trying to have an effective environment for learning which is ALSO safe. That's a tough balance to strike.

    This 'journalist' doesn't have any quote or feedback from District29 at all. It's media like this 'journalist' that's adding fuel to the already painful fire of divisive mindsets in this country.

    A real journalist would've gotten both sides of the story here and wouldn't have used an insensitive headline including the word insanity.

    Sure, it's an opinion blog, but that doesn't give full right to just blast and inflame. Journalism irresponsibility at its finest here, folks!

  • In reply to BrentDPayne:

    > Either you pick in-school or you pick remote learning only. You can't flip flop back and forth.

    Actually, flip-flopping is part of the plan. If a class of in-school learners has a student test positive for Covid, what do you think happens to the rest of the students in that class? They go remote for 2 weeks because they have all been in close contact with someone who tested positive. Do you think that they continue to stay in school, possibly infecting other students? What are you thinking? Are you thinking? Have you spent any time reading about what these schools are doing? Managing these scenarios is exactly what schools have spent most of their time trying to plan for.

  • The above apologists for this authoritarian behavior are amazing in their deflections and pretzel logic. The goal with the ban is not for lesson continuity but to ensure that the government officials can control what they deem to be "dangerous" travel. If a parent resists then they are an enemy of the state and shamed or their children are shamed, so I suspect parents will bow to government pressure and submit to the government officials. Welcome to Fascist America, brought to you by your local school district.

    I wonder if the parents of a banned child can claim a property tax credit for the interruption of their chld's education?

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    EVERYONE pays property taxes, not just property owners of children. Come on.

    Also, they are hardly an 'enemy of the state'. They simply, as a parent, made the decision to go to a place that is on a known list of places you aren't supposed to go unless you quarantine afterwards. The parent made an informed decision and part of that decision process includes pulling kids out of school for two weeks because of it. It would be no different than making a decision (pre-Covid) to take your kids out of school for two weeks to go travel Europe.

    We make decisions as parents all the time. The other option they have is to lie and let their kid go back to school despite visiting a 'hot zone'. That's also a decision they could make as a parent.

  • In reply to BrentDPayne:

    We are talking about restricting virtual access, not actual classroom presence. You completely side-stepped the subject.

  • The answer, of course, is to go full-time, in classroom instruction.

  • Nobody could be that stupid? How about the tinfoil hat autocrat in the White House?

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    So you are agreeing that the autocrats at Northfield are stupid?

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    No. Only that real stupidity is personified by the friend of autocrats in the White House.

  • How anyone can defend this is amazing to me. Someone is more offended by the article title than the actual fact that the government is acting well outside of their authority. Another person commented that this "is an opinion blog not a news story". HAHAHAHA. No kidding!

    BTW, Illinois has declared other states high risk but it is Chicago, Illinois where 38 juveniles have been killed this year by gun violence. all makes perfect sense

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