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Bangor parent petitioning for more snow days instead of more remote learning

Published: Nov. 16, 2020 at 4:08 PM EST
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - COVID-19 has changed the way students get an education.

One side effect is that some schools are doing away with some snow days in favor of remote learning.

“Our kids have had so much taken away from them this year.”

Elizabeth Bushnell was especially sad to hear that snow days had become a thing of the past. Students in Bangor will be expected to continue with remote learning when the weather outside is frightful.

“It really bummed me out. As a kid who grew up in Maine, snow days are magical. They’re the best part of winter. We have to suffer through winter, but we’ve got snow days!”

She says it’s been difficult for her two kids to adapt to all the changes 2020 has brought, so she’s started a petition to bring back the snow day.

“I wanted people to know that we can do it with a compromise. We don’t have to extend the end of the school year because I know that’s a really big deal for some people.”

She’s collected over 100 signatures so far.

“I’m asking other Bangor parents to log on to Facebook, or if you don’t have Facebook, you can still go to Facebook.com/BangorSnowDaysCompromise, and you’ll find my petition. I’m hoping to bring this before the school board on Wednesday.”

“If I had known this was coming, I think I would have tried to speak to someone before the decision came down, so I’m sure it’s going to be hard for them to go back on something.”

She says just because the technology exists for students to work from home doesn’t mean they should have to.

“Do we really want to start teaching our kids that just because you have this technology, that you should let it take over a break day, or do we want to teach them that a break is valuable and good for their mental health.”

Bangor School District Superintendent Dr. Kathy Harris-Smedberg tells us that using remote learning instead of cancelling school provides better consistency for students and staff alike.

She said that students who are remote learning still have the opportunity to get outside and play.

She also added that school could still be cancelled in the face of an extreme weather event, so snow days still exist, but might be less common.

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