To the editor:
I was glad to see Monday’s story on President Obama’s proposed public school reorganization. The previous administration’s education policy was a failure, and it is good to see Mr. Obama taking steps to repair the damage. I especially like the idea of leaving schools open after hours to provide a safe place for students to hang out.
However, I can’t agree with Mr. Obama’s promotion of longer school days and an extended school year. On a whole, America’s children are far too overworked. I am only a few years removed from high school and I remember having friends who would literally stay at school 12 or 13 hours a day, every day, because of marching band, athletics and other school-related organizations. Very few of them thought this was unhealthy and didn’t seem to understand why they were constantly sick and stressed out.
The situation seems even worse now that I am in college. Many students are forced to work nearly full time in order to pay the bills, which means that they don’t even get sufficient rest on the weekends. Furthermore, overstressed students often get sucked into the devastating college drinking culture.
Is this really how we want to teach our children to take care of themselves? I don’t want to seem like I am promoting laziness; on the contrary, I would attribute much of my scholarly success to the fact that I make sure I have enough downtime that I don’t become extremely stressed. Let’s teach our children how to do the same.