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Deer Hunting or School for Southern Lehigh?

Board tables discussion about 2013-14 school schedule after it came to crossroads over adding Monday after Thanksgiving back into school calendar.

After long discussion, the Southern Lehigh School Board tabled the possibility of adding the Monday after Thanksgiving back into the school calendar. 

The discussion stemmed from a larger conversation about when to schedule graduation for the 2013-2014 school year, June 6 or 13. 

said superintendent Leah Christman. If Southern Lehigh declares the maximum built-in snow days next year, seniors would need to attend school on June 6 before graduation that evening, she said.

However, if the board set graduation for June 13 with a light winter, students, staff and faculty would have to return to school a week after the end of the year for graduation. 

In Pennsylvania, the start of deer hunting season is the Monday after Thanksgiving. Traditionally, school districts are closed.

Christman also pointed out that several school districts don't set graduation at the beginning of the school year, electing to announce mid-year, but said she understood that Southern Lehigh traditionally sets the date in advance. "I understand that's not the culture [for Southern Lehigh High School]."

Though a quick straw poll of the board showed the majority was in favor of adding the Monday after Thanksgiving back into the calendar to buffer against school the day of graduation, the board chose to table the discussion. "It's not just an issue for families and their traditions," said board president Jeff Dimmig. "It could also be an issue for staff, for bus drivers." 

Do you think students should attend school the Monday after Thanksgiving? Tell us in the comments! 

Bob February 12, 2013 at 11:02 PM
No, instead of adding school days they should keep the traditions that have made SL one one the finest School Districts in area. This new Superintendent is not family friendly.
John February 12, 2013 at 11:39 PM
NO WAY!! This is a special day for hunters and many are young students. all of our children go and still continue to hunt on this day, except being older, it is a day off from work. It also is the most traveled holiday of the year and many families travel a great distance to be with many members of their families to spend quality time together!! DO you realize how many will be absent that day???? Keep that Monday off and hold on to some traditions!!
Coopersburg Parent February 13, 2013 at 01:30 AM
There are many people that live in this area now who are not native to this area and who are not hunters. This is not a Pennsylvania tradition--it's a Southern Lehigh tradition. I do not understand the importance of it. I see no reason to have off a day from school for something that can easily be done on the week-ends.
greg February 13, 2013 at 02:02 AM
This is a Pennsylvania tradition, it goes back more than 30 years when I was a kid and looked forward to hunting the first day of deer season with my family. keep the tradition alive in Southern Lehigh School District.
Hunter February 13, 2013 at 12:01 PM
Go back to New Jersey.
Stew February 13, 2013 at 12:41 PM
CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Southern Lehigh School District you are officially off of your ROCKERS! First, you take away (snows days) as a result of Hurricane Sandy, which were built in (5 total), then you decide to take away a tradition that goes back at least 40 years. Why? Graduation dates that can be adjusted and set later in the school year. "We've had a few rough winters," said superintendent Leah Christman. Last year we had no SNOW DAYS during actual winter. Apparently the Southern Lehigh Education Association isn't as strong as the public once thought. It appears that the Union President and her Executive Officers have no true powers and could care less about tradition. Perhaps, the SLEA Union is planning a "Blue Flu" day or might do something such as wear black to silently protest. Either way, the community loses out! I wonder what real school districts in the area are doing on this day, Quakertown, East Penn, Parkland, Salisbury?
Stew February 13, 2013 at 12:44 PM
We have lost the "HUMAN" factor with the current leadership.
Notbornyesterday February 13, 2013 at 01:17 PM
I think people are overreacting due to the title of this column. The School Board is just trying to set the calendar like they do every year and are simply re-thinking the Monday after Thanksgiving, along with other dates. I think they should keep that Monday, not especially for hunting, but just to make the break more reasonable for families that travel over Thanksgiving. I would actually add the Wed. before Thanksgiving and add another day to Spring break and take away the silly long Presidents day weekend. I grew up in another state that had the Monday after Thanksgiving off for hunting. It's not uncommon in rural areas. As for graduation day, years ago graduation day was not set in stone and parents complained every time it was changed - 250 sets of parents that had to deal with changed invitations, parties, vacation schedules. In 2003 when the current gym was completed, they moved graduation indoors to the HS, rain or shine. That has worked very well. Somehow, 180 days of education (or 990 hours as the law is written) must be fit in between the last Monday in August and the second week in June. Good luck School Board!
Mom/Wife of a hunter February 13, 2013 at 02:21 PM
There are always 2 sides to every story. Since you only know your side, i want to share the other side. It is clear that you and your family are not hunters. The area that you have moved into does has a high poplulation of avid hunters.Since you are not a hunting family you dont know that it is not something that can "easily be done on the weekends". The first day of deer season is that Monday after Thanksgiving. You cannot hunt on the weekends prior and can never hunt on a Sunday. What you dont realize is that hunters provide food for their families and lower their food bills tremendously by hunting, so this day is important to those in this area. If the day is taken back, i wouldnt be surprised if there are a lot of teachers and bus drivers taking a vacation day as well as some students missing from class. Family traditions are important in this day and age especially when familes are so busy and dont take time to do things together.
Chandler February 13, 2013 at 02:31 PM
Add it back as a school day. For the small majority of hunters, they can just take off for the day.
Notbornyesterday February 13, 2013 at 03:01 PM
Rumor has it that it's the bus drivers that don't want it taken away. I've always heard that it's the teachers that like the long Presidents day weekend. It's hard to please everyone!
Music Teacher February 13, 2013 at 03:20 PM
Growing up in New Jersey, we had many snow days. Graduation was never set in stone until April. I see no problem setting the date later in the school year. We need to be flexible, it's about the education of the children not parties and celebrations. As for the Monday after Thanksgiving, I would rather have that as a school day AND to allow those families who go hunting to have that as an excused absence so that they can continue their family traditions. Before anyone gets on their high horse and tells me to go back to Jersey, let me explain that I am the duaghter of a butcher and spent the winters of my childhood processing deer for hunters. School was never closed for the opening day but children were regularly excused to go hunting.
Len Pellegrino February 13, 2013 at 03:22 PM
It should be a school day - no question. Really no harm if a kid misses a day or two to go hunting, its fairly easy to catch up with on line resources etc. Opening day of baseball is just as important to me - if I want my kids to attend the game with me - they are missing school - that is our own personal family decision not the government or the school board's
Will Schaninger February 13, 2013 at 05:17 PM
Bob, why do you blame the issue of scheduling on Superintendent Christman? Our district has a school board to decide matters like this you know. Besides, comparing Mrs. Christman's family friendliness to that of the late Mr. Liberati is downright shallow. Superintendent Christman is obviously doing her best to promote the wellfare of the children of Southern Lehigh School District. She does't need hecklers.
Karen Krupa February 13, 2013 at 06:31 PM
It is not only a Southern Lehigh tradition. Many, many school districts in PA are closed that day.
Jerry Walter February 13, 2013 at 06:42 PM
What a great problem to have, deciding if we should get a day off for hunting. Just listen to yourselves!!!! Some people would be grateful if this was their schools biggest issue. As someone once told me "You have problems that only the privileged have."
Gramma24 February 13, 2013 at 09:06 PM
SL still can't get over the fact that Hatboro-Horsham was named #1 in the country a few years ago by Redbook and they weren't even in the running. Feh, how is 'hunting' a tradition? Do they need to go out back with the shotgun to fetch dinner? It is unnecessary to take a day off which 'most' of the 'fine upstanding members of the district under age 18' will be found at the Promenade sucking up StarSucks and not out 'making their first kill of the season'. It would be better served in school trying to educate their minds not take potshots at random wildlife.
tracystough February 13, 2013 at 10:23 PM
@Gramma24...what the heck does the fact that "Hatboro-Horsham was named #1 in the country" have to do with this subject? Enlighten me please...I live in SL and apparently am not bright enough to figure out yet another one of your "intelligent" comments.
Gramma24 February 14, 2013 at 03:12 AM
Let me type s-l-o-w-l-y so you understand. Two or three years ago, Redbook magazine did an expose on the best school districts in the country. Our neighbor in Bucks County, Hatboro-Horsham SD came in #1. There was a tempest in a teacup around here that 'boo hoo, SL wasn't even considered'.......I stated this as the original poster stated that SL was one of the 'finest in the area'........I disagree. But I am NOT, and proudly so, a product of a SL edjumacation.....so no, I am not impressed with the district.
Gramma24 February 14, 2013 at 03:14 AM
Don't blame the bus drivers, fercryingoutloud. Most of them are middle aged women, not the big bad hunters you might think. The only deer most of them would bag is if one ran in front of the bus.
tracystough February 14, 2013 at 11:40 AM
@Gramma24...your "oh so collegiate" explanation still does not answer the question as to what that article has to do with the Patch article/subject. I am a resident, not a "product" of SL, but, am still not impressed with your response. Whether SL was featured in a magazine or not, it's the Monday after Thanksgiving that is the issue. Or, did you not understand that? Maybe instead of poking fun at anyone, anywhere, you might just write a realistic comment. Have a nice day:)
Gramma24 February 14, 2013 at 08:20 PM
I made my point. Why give the kids another day to hang at the Promenade and drink Starsucks? How many deer are gonna get 'bagged' there (unless they have a sale on deerskin jackets, boots, etc.) How many 'actually' are gonna go hunting? Very few, I gather, so why give them the day off. Last time I checked, SL had this thing called and 'educational' field trip request. And if they can call a trip to Disney an 'educational field trip' they should have no problem signing off on one to go traipse thru the woods armed to the teeth. Have school and let them request the time off.
Angela February 14, 2013 at 08:52 PM
My suggestion would be to send the kids to school, for those who miss, allow it to be excused and wait to schedule graduation to later in the year.

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