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A new school year bows: The 'public' role

| Friday, Aug. 23, 2013, 8:57 p.m.

“Schools are open — drive safely.”

You remember those signs. Important as that message is, there is more to the opening of schools than that.

Our public school system can be one of the best examples of the power of community. It just requires the involvement of many. For example:

• Parents and guardians need to participate in the education process, monitoring student progress and being in touch with teachers and administrators.

• Student-based community programs are not just for parents and grandparents but for all. Plays, concerts, science expositions, art shows and the like are designed to engage all residents of the district.

• Much has been reported in recent years about bullying in the schools, and local students are not immune from it. This, too, is an opportunity for learning and for a communitywide response should it rise to that level.

• Friday night football and other sporting events throughout the year are unique in bringing neighbors together as nothing else does. Adults should be examples of good sportsmanship. Cheer but don't jeer.

This is the time of year we most need to demonstrate to our young people that learning is a lifetime activity, as much for making life worth living as for leading to eventual opportunity and economic gain.

Simply put: We need to be the public in our public school system.

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