Darkness at Noon: Schools Will Close for Solar Eclipse
Even as the Canadian Paediatric Society just declared we have to stop overprotecting kids, take a look (but not directly!) at what’s happening in Toronto. This is one of several notes we got from unhappy parents and teachers:
Dear Let Grow:
A few years ago I heard Lenore Skenazy speak in Toronto at the Society of Camp Directors. I follow your blog closely and am writing because of a story developing here.
On April 8, 2024, there will be a solar eclipse. Southern Ontario is right in the path of totality. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view this rare celestial event and teach kids about the way our solar system actually works. So — what are the educators here doing?
So far, four school boards across the greater Toronto Area have decided to close schools that day to minimize risk. A bunch of other school boards and independent schools are about to follow that lead.
I am baffled, dismayed, and hugely disappointed by this decision. It is misguided to keep children inside when they could be seeing this event. However, risk-aversion and groupthink are leading the process.
I wanted you to know because I think this is the type of thing that children should not be sheltered from. Instead they should be taught about their place in the universe and how to exist safely in nature. Alas, that won’t happen on April 8, 2024. We’ll just tell kids to be afraid of the sun and outdoors. That’s the unwritten curriculum. It is devastating.
I hold an administrative position and don’t want to jeopardize my job. At the same time, I am hoping someone will speak up about the luna(r)cy of this decision.
Dear Anonymous Admin: So are we! It’s as if the goal is to protect kids from accidentally getting interested in astronomy! Instead, they’re getting sucked into the black hole that is safetyism. Nothing fun ever gets out!
On the other hand, if they can just sit tight, there will be another total solar eclipse visible in Toronto around 400 years.