Who benefits from state-mandated start date for schools?
By Roger Pitt
Does the high school fall sports season begin too soon, or the start of the school year too late?
Most area school districts began classes Thursday. Friday marked the playing of the third game of the 2016 football season. It ends Nov. 17 and 18 with the division playoffs at Camp Randall in Madison.
It is a chicken and the egg conundrum. It is debatable, with varied opinions, including those along End Stool row.
Labor Day, falling two days after school convened, added to the debate because of the three-day break.
“Ridiculous,” Tom Handschke said. “There is two days of school and then take Monday off. School should begin after Labor Day.”
Cindy Ritchie has a different perspective. “School could have started a week or two earlier. Everybody gets antsy with the long time off, the parents and kids both.”
Cindy opened her cell phone, displaying a selfie of her granddaughter, a senior, holding a card, “my first, last-day of school.”
For Sarah, it was her first day as a mom having a child ride on the bus for his first day of kindergarten. “It was bittersweet,” she said. The parting was short, as she delivered a caterpillar to school so Parker could exhibit it at show and tell.
Randy, another End Stool visitor, is opposed to starting before Labor Day. He and his family went north for vacation the week school started. His son Ken was not happy. He was out-fished by both his dad and sister Dakota. He just smiled when asked about missing school.
This column called the Labor Day starting rule as a “dumb law” when a resolution in August 1998 was unanimously passed by the Governor’s Council on Tourism.
It was dumb at that time because for many students and teachers involved in the fall sports program their clock began ticking two weeks earlier with mandatory practice before first competition.
The number of students and teachers has increased since with more sports for both boys and girls.
Practice began Aug. 2 because schedules, especially for football, have games starting earlier to accommodate the expanded field of teams in the state playoff series.
The high school coaches association is discussing the logistics of beginning that early. Next year uniforms will be doled out July 31, and practice on Aug. 1.
Most schools played their third game of the season on Friday. Boys and girls in other sports also are weeks into their schedule.
Other ‘dumb rules’ have been enacted by state politicians.
To this writer the “no call” is a dumb law. The calls are irritating and should be stopped, but without strict enforcement of the violations and callers ignoring the list, it is blatantly dumb. The authors were not dumb, exempting ‘political calls’ from the ‘no call’ list.
Several “dumb laws” were protective of the state’s “America’s Dairyland State” title.
A few examples: it was illegal to serve apple pie without cheese; margarine was illegal; all yellow butter substitute was banned, and Limburger cheese required a master cheese maker’s license.
The laws were routinely violated by smuggling margarine across the Illinois and Michigan borders, instead of buying the plastic bag of colorless margarine. It had a dot of food dye that was kneaded until it almost resembled butter, instead of Crisco.
Other dumb laws:
The government may not prohibit manual flushing urinals.
Livestock have the right-of-way on public roads.
Whenever two trains meet at an intersection of said tracks, neither shall proceed until the other has. It is illegal to throw rocks at a railroad car.
I grew up in Amherst Junction where the Green Bay & Western intersected with the Soo Line.
I can see the engineer and brakeman from the trains duke it out to determine which train would move first. I don’t remember any of us throwing stones at the trains, but it seems too much of a temptation for young boys to resist.
I doubt anybody not on Social Security remembers the margarine controversy.