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A Maineiac

Mainer = A person who stays in Maine for an entire winter.

Maineiac = A person who doesn't have the sense to leave Maine after the 1st winter.

Power of the Pen

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The Backpack (Frontpack?) Controversy

Upon picking my daughter up from her first day of school, I was amused to see all the children with their backpacks strapped in front of them. My daughter informed me that this was a new school rule announced over the loud speaker by "the principal himself." We had a good laugh and I said they all looked silly and we left for home.

As we pulled into the driveway, we saw that her father was home. I was about to tell my daughter to put her back pack on in front and walk into the house like that to give her father a good laugh at how silly she looked, when I realized that she had to walk up the stairs and would not be able to see them.

My daughter's classroom is upstairs this year. Then I recalled seeing a group of children being led down the stairs by a teacher while I was picking her up from school that day...all with their backpacks strapped on in front.

I was no longer amused; now I was alarmed.

Later that evening, I learned that the reason for this new school rule was ergonomics. How ridiculous, I thought, they're going to risk children falling down the stairs so they won't get a backache? As if falling down a flight of stairs wouldn't CAUSE a backache...or worse?!

I wrote a letter to the principal which my daughter hand-delivered to the principal's office the very next morning, with a cc to her teacher. I also placed a copy of the letter in my daughter's school folder and told her that Daddy and I were forbidding her to carry her backpack in front. If anyone gave her a hard time about this, she was to present the letter to them and tell them to call her mother.

This is the letter I wrote to the principal:

We are very concerned with this new rule for the children regarding their backpacks.

Have you really thought about this? We have, and we can only imagine it won't be long, probably before the day is out, before one of the children falls down the stairs because their backpack is blocking their vision of where the stairs start.

This letter is our written refusal to allow our child to carry her backpack strapped to her front. We have told our daughter not to carry her backpack strapped to her front and we sincerely hope she is not given a hard time about this.

If you have any questions regarding this, please free to call either one of us at the numbers listed above.

My telephone rang at 8:15 this morning. It was the principal of the school. He thanked me for the letter and stated that they had reconsidered this new school rule.

I don't, for one minute, think they changed the school rule because of my letter alone. I am sure I wasn't the only parent who thought of this and voiced a concern.

So, if you're upset about something, write a letter! Make a phone call! Make your voice heard and your opinions known. You just may get results!

Now all I have to do is see what the status is regarding "The Pledge of Allegiance" being said in school this year...INCLUDING the phrase "Under God."

I hope I don't have to write another letter!