Snow Days Are Not A Liberal Conspiracy, Sorry Fox News
On Monday’s edition of the Fox News show Outnumbered, host Andrea Tantaros and her guest Rep. Sean Duffy of Wisconsin explained their very well-thought out and nuanced position: that school snow days are a liberal conspiracy. Who let them in on the secret, guys?!
Their explanation for the Illuminati-esque cover-up isn’t that liberals are somehow using snow days to drum up support for climate change, which was my first guess. Instead, as Raw Story reports, the discussion centered around a Massachusetts town’s plan to build more snow days into the next school year’s calendar. This year, the schools in the town of Easton are going to be in session until June 29, thanks to Snowpocalpyse 2015’s hammering of the Boston area this winter. So next year, the school district has taken three religious holidays off the table: the Christian holiday of Good Friday, as well as the Jewish holidays of Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah.
I’m a little under the weather this morning, and that may be why I feel a little sympathetic to the issue at hand here. I do think it’s crummy that the first place the school cut was the High Holy Days (I’m not as worried about Good Friday, which I never got off school as a Christian kid and didn’t seem to suffer too much for). I’m not sure what the Jewish population of Easton is, but it was at least enough for these holidays to have been on the school calendar up to this point; and telling the schools’ Jewish students they have to be in attendance on Yom Kippur when Christmas was never on the table for elimination doesn’t seem quite fair. It’s only two days; couldn’t one day be shaved off spring break and one off winter break to get the same effect?
That said, sorry (not sorry), Fox News: Rep. Duffy’s assessment on what’s motivating the Easton school district is bonkers.
â€œDonâ€™t let any good crisis go to waste, and if you want to take religion out of the public square, look at Boston and look at all the snow and say, â€˜What a great reason now, we can take these religious holidays out of our school system.â€™ […] Itâ€™s using the crisis to the liberal benefit[.]”
The Easton school board is not trying to sneakily secularize society behind everyone’s backs. They’re trying to maximize the number of kids who are in school during school days, and, let’s face it, fewer kids are going to be absent on the High Holy Days than the number who are going to be absent in late June when parents yank them out of school for vacation or family visits or sports camps. And at least when kids miss school in the middle of the year, they can be chased down when they come back to make up tests and assignments, whereas good luck to any teachers who need to track down students who go missing during final exam time.
It’s disappointing to borrow make-up time from existing religious holidays, and Easton undoubtedly could have done a better job planning snow contingencies into their school-year calendar. But in the end, the job of a school district is to educate kids, and that’s what Easton is trying to do. Or maybe I’m just saying that because I’m in on the conspiracy?