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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Editorial: Let’s not lock up CSC to kids during storm days

  • Between January and April of 2013, school was cancelled in Crookston a lot because of winter storm after winter storm that rolled through town.
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  •     Between January and April of 2013, school was cancelled in Crookston a lot because of winter storm after winter storm that rolled through town. Eventually, it spurred a discussion – not the first time the subject had come up – about policies regarding various athletic practices being held or not being held on days school was cancelled or dismissed early.   
        We had our first winter storm and subsequent school cancellation last week and, predictably, the issue came up again. Basically, it comes down to this: Crookston High School is a building owned by the school district, so it closes up when school is cancelled. Crookston Sports Center is owned by the City of Crookston and it typically remains open during most winter storms, meaning kids who aren’t in school – read “hockey players” – can go to the CSC and hit the ice, sometimes for hours on end.   
        Last week, at the Crookston School Board meeting, it was suggested that any policy in this area should either forbid all athletic practices, even informal, player-organized gatherings, or allow them all.   
        Prohibiting all practices doesn’t make sense. The school district doesn’t own the CSC. It’s a community building and it’s within city limits, so if some kids want to go there and skate during a winter storm, what’s the huge drawback? And let’s not forget, youth hockey players who are too young to be Pirates are enrolled in Parks & Recreation programs, not Pirate programs.   
        Are you going to punish kids – literally, discipline them - who’d rather play a little hockey or skate around at the arena than sit at home getting Dorito powder all over their smart phone touch screens as they scarf down fatty snacks while watching funny videos on Vine? Would we rather they kill zombie solders playing “Call of Duty” on their Xbox or Playstation for hours on end?   
        It’s not like if a kid’s car slides into the ditch on Fisher Avenue he’s not going to be one phone call from getting help. It’s not like he’s not going to be able to walk 100 feet to the nearest house. The parents know where the kids are; in fact, they’ve been known to bring Subway sandwiches or food from some other local establishment for a bunch of the players to eat.   
        Maybe, if it’s later in the winter and there’s turf in the CSC’s Gold Arena, all kinds of kids could come out during a storm and stay active. Or, maybe, the CHS gym or Highland gym could remain open so kids could play basketball or some other game.   
    Page 2 of 2 -     This just doesn’t seem like a huge problem. We all want young kids to be as safe as possible at all times, including when a winter storm has led to an early dismissal at school or outright cancellation of classes.   
        But cracking down on kids who go to the their community’s sports center in those instances seems harsh.
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