Bloomington parents protest early back-to-school date

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A large group of Central Indiana parents have signed a petition that calls for a traditional summer after their children went back to school earlier this year.

The Monroe County Community School Corporation School Board recently voted to start classes at the beginning of August for the next three school years.

This year, school began on Aug. 7 and that frustrated parents like Colleen Menczer.

“There’s no reason to shorten summer. Summer is for families,” she told Fox 59.

“There’s an emotional level, there’s a family level, there’s an economic level,” explained Kari McMullen, another MCCSC parent. “I couldn’t believe that I was the only one who felt this way.”

Which is why McMullen and Menczer started an online petition, asking officials to go back to a traditional summer schedule.

So far, Menczer said, more than 850 people have signed the petition.

“I do believe it’s the tip of the iceberg,” she said.

Another parent, Johan Bollen, said the new calendar personally affected his family, because he works for Indiana University. He wondered how many of his co-workers with children at MCCSC would be able to spend fall break together now that those breaks don’t match up.

“For the school system to blatantly ignore that is quite shocking to me,” said Bollen.

Fox 59 contacted the MCCSC school board and in a statement said, “The passage of the calendars came after the recommendation of a broad-based committee, which deliberated, researched and considered feedback from the community over a period of several months.”

That’s not good enough for the parents protesting. They want more research that proves this calendar is better for their kids. In the meantime, they hope their petition will send a strong message to the school board to bring the old calendar back starting next year.

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