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Letter to the Editor: School access a problem for rural students

Posted: Thu, Mar 14, 2019 5:20 PM

(The following Letter to the Editor has been submitted by Lauren Bonney of Decorah)

 "It's been a hard winter and the Decorah School District has had many snow/ice/windchill related days where classes have been cancelled.

However, this week the decision has been made to keep school in session despite the difficulties faced by those families living on gravel roads in getting their children to school safely. If travel is not advised--or in some cases banned--on some roads in the county, how can the school district keep school in session?  Parents are faced with the choice of venturing out in their own vehicles on icy roads with their children to leave them at new bus stops OR driving them all the way into town (thanks to buses now not traveling on gravels) OR keeping their children home and depriving them of valuable school days which their hard-surface dwelling neighbors can access.

This creates a distinct disadvantage for rural children in the community.  I'm frustrated that the administration would make the call to treat school as accessible for some while others are kept from safely arriving. How many times in the last 10 years have similar decisions been made and what can we do to prevent this in the future?"