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January 20, 2021

12/4/2020 2:15:00 PM
Let them participate

Dear Editor:
Our government has told society that amid a global pandemic that it's necessary to go to work. Take precautions, wear a mask, wash your hands, go to work. If they can go to work, why can't we let them participate?
School boards and parents across the nation have told society that amid a global pandemic that it's necessary to go to school. Take precautions, wear a mask, wash your hands, go to school. If they can go to school, why can't we let them participate?
Amid a global pandemic, we have made adjustments in our lives in order to continue to function as a society. All around us, we see people and policies changing so that we can shop in a store, go to doctor and dentist appointments, get our hair cut, go to the gym. Take precautions, wear a mask, wash your hands, carry on. If we have found ways to do all these things, why can't we find a way to let them participate?
In these unprecedented times, I don't envy anyone in the position of having to make these decisions. What should be allowed to continue? What should be put on hold? There are no undisputable facts available to support your decision. And no matter what you decide, someone will be there to criticize, and someone will be disappointed. But the fact is you made the choice to be in this position and there is a large portion of those who put you in that position that are asking you to find a way to let them participate.
I understand that not everyone places the same importance on these types of activities. But for many of these kids, what you may be taking away from them has become part of their identity. They have been taking drama and music lessons, going to camps, off season practices and leagues and working on their craft independently for more of their life than they have not. It has become part of who they are. Yes, they are students first and they will continue to be students first regardless of your decision. But these extra-curricular activities are something that drives them to be a better student. They understand that they must be a good student first before they can participate in their activity of choice. And their participation puts them in a better mental, emotional and physical state for their academic performance as well as for their overall well-being.
They are asking you to find a way to let them participate. Don't make them wonder why they can't participate but kids ten or twenty miles down the road can. Much like the accomplishment of receiving their diploma when they graduate, they need the closure of finishing what they have been working for so hard throughout their middle and high school years.
Take precautions, wear a mask, wash your hands, then work together. They are asking you to find a way.
Let them participate.
Angie Borne
Dodgeville, WI





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