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Sundays are for families
Our thanks to the local school board for voting at the Montana High School Association annual meeting to keep Sundays activity free.
It was a vote to retain some welcome, unstructured family time, as well as support church involvement.
Currently students in local schools have activities - many involving travel - scheduled every day of the week, with the exception of Wednesdays and Sundays. Local officials also have been reluctant to schedule Wednesday activities because for a long time churches hosted youth group meetings and other activities on Wednesday evenings. This doesn’t affect every child or family, but the district has made an effort to accommodate people, which we appreciate.
What some don’t realize is that many children are also involved in non-school-sponsored activities that don’t necessarily view Sundays as off limits. So they may already be participating in tournaments or events that run through the weekend. If they add school activities to that, schedules could become a mess and limit their choices for involvement and erode family time. All of these things are choices, but isn’t that what we want for our kids?
The scheduling issue arose because the Seventh-Day Adventists in Oregon won a lawsuit against the Oregon School Activities Association because activities were allowed on Saturdays, their sabbath, but not on Sundays.
We can see why the Adventists felt singled out, but it doesn’t seem right for them to force school districts to infringe on another group’s religious freedoms to satisfy their concerns. That’s what scheduling Sunday activities would do. It’s also conceivable that other religious groups could identify more days of the week as conflicting with their beliefs and practices.
It must be a challenge to find enough days and gym space to accommodate all of the activities available, but administrators have managed to make it work nicely while still carving out some free time. Kids need that, and so do families. Circumstances may force a change in the future, but for now we’re happy with the way things are, and we thank officials for making that statement.