Wednesday, May 12, 2021

A Ninth Open Letter to the School District

Dear folks in charge of the decision making down at the School District,

I never thought I would need to write you again so soon, but your power to disappoint me apparently knows no bounds. Literally the day after I wrote you about the ridiculousness of “quarantining” Son Number Two, you went ahead and “quarantined” Son Number One.

(I am putting quarantine in quotes here because they are both perfectly healthy with no symptoms of anything, so we haven’t exactly locked them in their rooms, if you catch my drift. School is currently the only place being made off-limits to my school-age children. Crazy, huh?)

Son Number One plays water polo, which is basically wrestling in a pool. The water polo team was not required to get COVID tests last week, because “case rates” (whatever the hell that means) in our county were below a certain, very arbitrary, not chosen by anyone with an IQ higher than room temperature, level. The badminton team, if we had one, would still have been required to test, since badminton is an indoor sport. Same for all other non-contact badminton-esque indoor sports, including the sport in question today, which we will call Sport X.

So just to recap so far, since I know you are slow on the uptake, the completely, by definition, non-contact Sport X was required to get COVID tested because they play in a cavernous gymnasium, but a sport where it is impossible to wear a mask without literally dying, and you guard your opponent by putting your chin on their shoulder was exempt from testing because the pool they play in is in the sun.

As it happens, one of our water polo players also plays Sport X, and his test last week came back positive. So, in case you missed the memo, you sent the JV and Varsity water polo teams home, in addition to the whole team from Sport X. Thankfully, under your insane rules, we were dealing with a kid who actually got a positive test, and not just a “close contact.” And thankfully his parents weren’t having any of your BS and took the time to get him tested two more times, on two separate dates, as is your inane policy.

I guess they went to two labs that aren’t affiliated with the school district and use actual scientific lab equipment, because he came back negative both times. So, once again, you shut down three teams and sent 40+ kids away from classes for 5 days (instead of 14 – thank you awesome parents), canceling 20% of the water polo team’s games in an already shortened season for absolutely no reason at all.

Again, just to recap, 424 days after you shut schools completely down, you are still making the very life-altering decision of sending perfectly healthy children away from school and sports based on the findings of a lab that apparently gets their testing equipment from the Fisher-Price Lil’ Science Person collection at Walmart.

And again, to keep you up to date on your own policies, because I know none of you wrote any of them down, if he had just been “close contacted” in class, the negative test – like the one that Son Number Two got last week from Walgreens – would mean nothing. Like I said, thankfully under your “policy,” he had a positive test, which can get reversed by actual professionals. Simply being in the same room as someone who got a positive test from your source, Chuck’s Rapid COVID Testing Facility and Kosher Hotdog Stand, is irreversible. That’s neat.

A news article popped up in my feed last night that made me immediately think of you. The KCRA 3 headline was “Police arrest man after stolen sailboat gets stuck under Tower Bridge.”

Seems a gentleman down on the Sacramento River thought highly enough of his skillset to declare himself captain of a boat that didn’t belong to him. But when put to the test, it was revealed that he lacked the basic seamanship to understand the height of his vessel, the height of a lowered drawbridge, how drawbridges work, or even how to steer a sailboat.

It occurred to me that you are that so-called captain. You think highly enough of yourselves to take the job of shepherding our schools, but when put to the test by a flu bug that has been shown time and time again to have basically zero effect on students, you are still sailing into that drawbridge, week after week, month after month, and tragically for everyone involved, now year after year.

Captain Merrill Stupiding of the S.S. Dumbass was promptly arrested on the river last night and thrown in the brig. Sadly, in your case however, you sailed this boat square into the bridge, but when it get’s pointed out that you have no idea what you’re doing, it goes like this:

It’s not our fault. The state controls all bridge policy. It’s the state’s fault for putting the bridge there in the first place. It’s not our fault that the drawbridge wasn’t up when we got there, since there’s no way for someone to control one of those bridges or one of these sailboat things. I mean, we’re surrounded by water, for goodness sake. And besides that, the water is moving! And this big bridge right here came out of nowhere and hit our mast. Now if you’ll excuse us, we need to go collect our paychecks from the owner of this boat.

I really think we can do better than this, don’t you, skipper?

Yours in educational excellence through continued partnership,



Copyright © 2021 Marc Schmatjen


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