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Letter to the Editor: Overlooked Impact on Families

For those who don’t know, the District 65 Teachers Union president is encouraging their teachers to take two days of mental days before our long weekend vacation. As a result, the superintendent did [Devon] Horton made the “fair” decision to close all schools for the whole week and we received a notification on Friday afternoon. My son, a special needs child who HAS to go to school, is going to be at home for a full week now because why should disabled children ever be preferred? Isn’t it “woken up” enough?

While teachers deserve to be valued for our children’s education, last minute “mental health days” is absolutely not the way to do it. The impact of this decision on the affected families has been completely overlooked.

Having to seek last-minute all-day childcare is a tremendous burden, both psychologically and financially. ESPECIALLY for a child with special needs. Parents have to call in sick from their own workplaces, which puts even more strain on their families and their communities. It is unacceptable to ignore the needs of the entire district, their families, their jobs, anything for a nice touch to the employees.

I’m a nurse in the emergency room. We have our own staff crisis with a greater lack of care than ever. We just work harder and care more about our patients and families. When I call, our emergency room is even less manned, longer waiting times and delays in health care in our area. The ripple effect of canceling schools when there is no reason to do so is irresponsible at best. Do better for our community.

Elie Hale

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