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Citizen complaint of the day: Canceling last day of school with no notice left kids in tears

A disgusted citizen filed a 311 complaint about the way BPS only announced it was canceling school today late in the day on Thursday:

This was handled unbelievably poorly, with no regard for the emotional regulation of the children of Boston. I picked up my 2nd grader and K1-er yesterday, minutes after the call was made, and most of the students were in tears. I understand calling off school for safety concerns, however this was avoidable. The parade did not have to be held on this day. Or the call to cancel school could have came earlier in the week. The move is showing the children of Boston that their routines and rituals (because the last day of school is a sacred ritual for a kid!) are as not important compared to those of wealthy athletes. One thing we’ve learned from the school closings in the pandemic is how vital school buildings and school routines are. This move has ripped the rug out from our youngest city members. Also, how is it all of a sudden ok for Boston kids to only have 179 days of school? While Newton students are still in classrooms for another week due to the strike? I understand this was DESE’s call, but granting an exception for one district due to a parade and not to another who fought for a contract that benefits teachers and students is sending a horrid message. It’s clear where our priorities are - and they are not with our students. I expect a formal apology to the students of Boston from the mayor and the superintendent. I am a staunch supporter of BPS and Mayor Wu (I was a BPS teacher for 12 years), however I am thoroughly disappointed in this decision.



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Who among us thought about emotional regulation when recess, Little Debbie's and Saturday cartoons were our biggest motivations?


You know, I kind of get it! As a middle schooler, the last day of school for the year really did hold a lot of meaning. Not that I was eager to spend an extra day in school, but the last day of school was the last day I'd see a lot of my friends until the fall, the day that most of my classes would be about goofing off and celebrating the end of the year, a day that was more about celebrating than studying. If the school had announced only in the afternoon of the next-to-last day that the last day of school was cancelled, I think a lot of us would have been pretty upset too.

"Emotional regulation" may be a phrase that we didn't know back then, but it's certainly not a new phenomenon.


I agree with Disgusted Citizen. I think DC went a little over the top, but the end of school is a ritual and especially for little kids -- saying goodbye to the teacher and some of their friends that they may not see over the summer -- it's important.


the end of school is a ritual

It is? What's its ritual nature?

(maybe this is a "we have kindergarten graduations too" sort of thing)


Is why was I stuck behind a school bus picking up kids on Blue Hill Ave this morning?

Did not everyone get the memo?




Could you imagine...all the shit those kids have to endure to get a "better" education out in the burbs...AND they didn't get today off to go to the parade?


Magoo is putting on a class down on the stoop on how to shoot bottle rockets at those silly athletes. Magoo.


Is a sacred ritual??? GTFO.

I agree that it'd probably be a lot less disruptive to have the parade on a weekend day, but as I recall for past victory celebrations, the players are only contractually obligated to stick around for a few days after the last game. Today might have been the last day where they could guarantee all the players would show up.

When I was a kid (and I was good in school) I would still have been celebrating if they let us out a day early for the summer.


I remember my days over at BLA - the last days of school were almost always half-day, and by then, most of the final exams were over. Nothing left to teach, so the teachers told us "have a nice day, see you in September." I remember one last day of school I went to what was then Christy's over in Copley Square, bought a toy whistle that was a fad at that time, and hung out until I hopped on the trolley back to Arborway.

Disgusted Parent may have been going overboard on the emotion and drama (and I think their demand for an apology is a little overblown) but you're right - this was the best time the players could gather, and while Saturday would be optimal, having kids on the last day of school in the mix would have been a logistical nightmare. And, you could imagine the screams of indignation from same disgusted parent if their charges were stuck somewhere in Boston, their bus got overrun by drunks and troublemakers, and their kiddos didn't get home until 7-8pm!


School's out for summer. School's out forever. School's been blown to pieces!


Only the most cynical amongst us would not realize that the last day of school is important to many students. Surely there are teachers who had planned something for today and told students about it. This was a decision that needs to have repercussions for those responsible.


Buncha snowflakes. This will teach them.


How many hours warning did the City of Boston give to parents that they needed to find alternative child care arrangements for Friday? Not everyone is a remote-working white collar employee with the kind of job flexibility to be able to just roll with this kind of disruption.

There's a more or less straight line leading from this kind of clueless unawareness of the lives of working people, to Trumpian populism.


Early dismissal is a 4 hour school day for BPS. That means that if you do drop-off and pickup and have an hour commute- what I budget from Roslindale downtown and back- you'd have 2 hours in work, which is not a shift employers like. When our kid has early dismissal- a 3 hour non-BPS day- someone just takes the day off to pick him up. And yes, he goes in for that 3 hours.

Also, though I think the last day of school is a transitory day, from an education perspective, it is true that the grades are long closed and for the last week or so the students and teachers are killing time. When I was in high school, we had a "finals" period, and once you were done with your exams, you were out. Can't pull that for elementary and middle school, but still, it's honest. Upside to not being beholden to the magic 180 number.