Summer school… sort of


This is an older story, but did you hear about the father that sued the school because his son was given homework to do over the summer?

Happened last year. Here’s a link to the full story.

As the USA Today story points out, the case was ultimately dismissed. But check out this quote from a CBS article: “It didn’t completely ruin my summer, but it did give me a lot of undue stress both at home and at work. I just didn’t have the energy or the time for it.”

And my response?

Welcome to the world Peer… the real world… and since you aren’t a toddler, it’s about time you learned it. There’s never enough time to get things done.

I’m trying to find the time and energy to edit and re-write my novel. Unfortunately, the gutters need to be cleaned, the garage needs to be painted, and there are leaves in my backyard I have to rake up before I can get some more grass seed down. And then there’s the work week. Geez, the work week. Speaking of which… I think my work day should end after 8-hours, but I have a few assignments that I need to finish off at home because I ran out of time while at work. It’s all creating a lot of undue stress.

The argument that these are still children and it is the summer. In certain angles, from certain views, if the proper argument is created, I can understand the perspective Bruce Larson has on that one. I fully disagree. But I could understand that.


Well, in part because schools across the country are having troubles. Did you hear about Oregon in the 2002-2003 school year? One article (link no longer active) notes not only how Oregon looked at shortening its school year to meet the budget, but also some other problems. Here’s another that not only goes over troubles in Oregon and other states, but reviews some tuition increases at colleges.

In short, an education isn’t truly a right. Oh sure… it is in fact a right… public schools are there and educations are provided. But the staff to student ratios, the pay offered to teachers for delivering such an important job, or even the ability to participate in sports and other extracurricular activities is frightening. A quality education is, in part, as much the responsibility of the student as it is the school system. And part of that responsibility might… just might… involve doing the work. Go figure.

So, while I understand that summer assignments aren’t wonderful things… there are far worse possibilities the Larsons could be facing. Get over it. The fact is that to get the reward, you have to do the work. So, either do the homework or organize other parents and approach the school board. But don’t give the “whoa is me, I lost my summer” story. The truth is that homework was assigned… and both of you should be thankful it was.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In the early days of the In My Backpack web site, I was trying several different ways to present material.

My journal entries were referred to as “A Momentary Lapse…” for a period of time, which eventually transitioned to “Are you chewing gum?” for a bit. Eventually, after a few restarts, modifications, and relaunches, the Now Playing area took over.

One of occasional segments—appearing perhaps ten times a year or so—was called Random Thoughts, which I described as…

Too long for “A Momentary Lapse…”… Not enough for a full article… Need to get them off my “ideas to work on” list…

This essay was originally created and presented as a Random Thoughts entry. I’m bringing it back as a From the Backpack offering because I’m curious about the content and the effort. But, worth noting, it may still seem a bit incomplete, needing more development, and may or may not have gone through some additional edits and re-writes beyond my usual finds when searching the archives.


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