New (school) Year resolution: Let’s practice what we teach
In addition to the three R’s, school children in Park City, Coalville and Kamas will spend the coming year learning about citizenship and community service. At the urging of patrons, especially in the Park City School District, students will have opportunities to participate in programs designed to broaden their views of the world, instill respect for diversity, encourage healthy lifestyles and show them how to protect the environment.
That means we parents better shape up!
Most of us have already been chastised by pint-sized backseat drivers for allowing a car to idle while running into the post office. We have been lectured to about global warming and have gotten dirty looks for dropping a soda can in the regular trash. Those voices are about to get more insistent as classes get underway.
Also, parents who attended their children’s back-to-school nights this week were informed about the schools’ zero tolerance policies for drugs, weapons and violence. According to several stern-looking principals, vulgar language, bullying and threatening other students is also forbidden on school grounds.
To be frank, in our experience covering intramural sporting events, sometimes it is the grownups that need a refresher course in playground ethics. Furthermore, judging by some of the heated confrontations around town this summer (cyclists versus motorists, contentious litigation between property owners, political backstabbing and the usual neighborhood squabbles) citizenship grades in general are on the decline.
Like each previous generation, Summit County parents want to raise the bar for their children. Residents from Henefer to Summit Park have raised additional funds and volunteered countless hours to give them the best education possible including lessons about teamwork, kindness and accountability. But the most effective teaching method for teaching our children is still the old-fashioned one by setting an example.
So, on this first week of the new school year we would encourage everyone to work on the same skills we are trying to instill in our students — mutual respect, peaceful resolution of conflicts, sportsmanship, volunteerism, and conscientious environmentalism.
If we do, it will be a great school year for the whole community.
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“Proponents should be honest about what they plan to put in a landfill,” writes Thomas Jacobson, “and everyone should understand the consequences if the geology and hydrology have not been properly studied.”