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Sunday, February 18, 2024

First, DCPS gets rid of books, and now they are getting rid of, wait for it, birthday parties.

Read that again and let it digest for a second. The same rules and laws that made DCPS in its infinite wisdom (sic) get rid of classroom libraries and books, are now having the district put the kybosh on birthday parties and so much more.

I know what some of you are thinking, but the state, Chris, the state. Yes, the state sucks, yes, the state is trying to harm public education and DeSantis can have all the press conferences he wants but we know the truth. My reply to you is why doesn’t the district fight back, like this and so many other things, why don’t they at least say, we don’t agree with it, we don’t like it, but the state is making us do it. We can’t even get that, which tells me their silence is complicity.

Now, when I heard birthday parties, in-school concerts, and the spelling bee, etc. etc. etc. made the list of prohibited activities, I asked thinking, maybe it's like a game of telephone where what the school board tells the administration changes slightly from what they tell the principal and then what they tell teachers. Surely, birthday parties, holiday dances, and concerts are exempt from an extra layer of bureaucracy.

Yes and no.

I can have a birthday party, but I must get permission slips from my student's parents and guardians. This unequivocally means birthday parties are going to come to an end. Some teachers will be thinking ugh, another thing to do, I don’t have the bandwidth or energy to deal with it. Then what's going to happen to little Suzie and Johnny, whose parents forgot to sign the permission slips or just forgot to bring them back? Emails and phone calls, something teachers used to be able to do, aren’t acceptable anymore. Sorry, kids, you have to go to that class without cupcakes for thirty minutes while we rock it out for a few minutes in between test prep. Yet another reason why some teachers won’t bother.

If the district doesn’t think this is too far, then nothing will ever be too far. If the district can’t raise its hand and say, hey, maybe birthday parties should be okay, then nothing will ever be okay.

First, they came for veteran teachers, and I was silent.

Next, they came for LGBTQ students, and I was silent as well.

Then they came for books, which were ripped off shelves, and I was still silent.

Now they have come for birthday parties.

What will they come for next?

The state sucks, but so do school boards that silently go along. 

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