[This opinion piece was originally written in 2015. As we are still enduring the effects of an electoral whim carried out by a small group, it is still relevant. -Ben]

I saw something disturbing recently. Sioux Falls public school students involved in school activities. Sports and marching bands were made up of Sioux Falls public school students are there doing stuff. On school premises!

During the revered month of August!

Oh the humanity!

Sioux Falls public school students involved with school activates before Labor Day! (Dun Dun Dunnnnnnnnn).

Here we are still in August, on the sacred side of the Labor Day summer cut off, and Sioux Falls students are involved in school activates. Suffering under the tyranny of school related activates during the month named for the first Roman Emperor.

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Just think about all those poor students deprived of their family time because they are in a school activity, all those minimum wage jobs vacant because of school events.

I can just imagine the sad chefs at Benihana just looking longingly at an empty mall concourse. The sorrow of Iowa’s favorite Ferris wheel spinning empty, no families bonding. It looks like, despite a gallant effort, summer has not been rescued as we were promised.

Sarcasm aside, as we push through weeks of patchwork child care and PTO usage, the great Sioux Falls Start Date Debate continues to be a sore subject.

Of course the Sioux Falls students have started activities. School starts in August for the rest of the state.

So, Sioux Falls’ kids have to start practice and play games before the school year starts. This alone undermines any arguments for the Sioux Falls school start date change.

Advocates for disrupting the school calendar said that it was needed to ensure that Sioux Falls kids have quality time with their families. How is there going to be quality time with two-a-days? If they're at practice, they’re not sharing some of Mama Gump’s Garlic Bread Basket.

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And if they are at practice, how are they going to work all those jobs that can only be filled by minors? If someone is working and going to school, it’s because they HAVE to work.

As someone that had to work and go to school, some of the worst people I ever worked with were the kids that had a job only because their parents demanded it as part of a character building exercise. I’m sure that the cashier at any Westroads shop can confirm that for you the next time you get together for shopping therapy.

I don’t know why this is so hard. If you want to spend time with your family, then spend time with your family. If you want to go on vacation, go on vacation. Take your kids out of school and do your thing and leave everybody else alone.

There continues to be no good reason to mess with the school calendar. This has been about a small minority’s egos. They didn’t get their way, so they took their ball and went home. Or in this case forced thousands of families to bend to their selfish needs. It's also another example of how low an opinion some have of public education.

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