Public school events should be open to all kids

To the editor:

As a new resident of the village of Lake Placid, I have been afforded the opportunity to be a part of a community where we can thrive and connect. I’ve witnessed the generosity of the community in terms of volunteering for the FISU games and with other events held in Lake Placid. I, too, have volunteered to help with such events. This community of inclusiveness is what makes Lake Placid a great place to live and to raise a family.

So when I saw an invitation to the Lake Placid Middle School Spring Dance on social media, I passed the information to my daughter, who attends North Country School as a middle schooler, of the opportunity to attend a dance with her peers from the Lake Placid Middle School. It never occurred to me that she would not be able to participate.

In the past, my daughter has participated in other school activities that was open to her peers. Lake Placid is unique place in that we have options for our children to attend public or private schools. There are children who have needs that are met by different styles and learning environments. And for those children, let’s not punish them by excluding them from their community. Why are we segregating our children from one another? Aren’t we teaching inclusiveness and acceptance? Needless to say, my daughter was asked to leave and said “bye” to her friends that she attended with. This is a very hard concept to comprehend, especially when she has done other activities with her Lake Placid peers and hasn’t been excluded before. Please note that this incident was brought to the attention of the Lake Placid School District superintendent, who advised that he would look into the matter. As of now, the rule for middle school dances is to have no outside students and at the high school level, with prior approval, students from other schools would be allowed to participate. Maybe this rule needs to be open to review and to take into consideration of those students who are residents in Lake Placid, of the appropriate age for the activity, and parental consent for participation and safety.

May Chow

Lake Placid


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