St. Paul’s Lutheran School students braved the cold Tuesday by walking around the school block with their bright yellow scarves to help raise awareness for National School Choice Week.
According to its website, National School Choice Week participants “believe that parents should be empowered to choose the best educational environments for their children.” The week highlights all types of education options, including public schools, charter schools, private schools, online learning and homeschooling.
“They believe parents should have a choice in what school their child goes to,” said St. Paul’s Principal John Nail. “Some of the states don’t give parents a lot of choices. Missouri does a pretty good job of giving parents choices. We have public schools, private schools, charter schools in St. Louis and Kansas City. The one thing the site said they don’t have is a virtual high school. We’re all for parents having a choice in where they send their child.”
From Jan. 26 to Feb. 1, more than 5,500 schools and organizations across the country are hosting events to recognize the week, with 45 of those events being in Missouri. At St. Paul’s, the students walked around the block wearing yellow scarves embroidered with the National School Choice Week logo, and seventh- and eighth-grade students wrote editorials on how they felt about parents having a choice in where their children go to school.
“School Choice means empowering parents with the freedom to choose the best educational environments for their children,” wrote seventh-grader Caleb DeFord. “Some students need certain educational environments, and some schools do not offer those kinds of environments.”
“I know some people want to send their child to public school, but others don’t,” wrote Shania Medrano. “I think parents should be able to have more opportunities concerning their child’s education.”
Nail said National School Choice Week is a fairly new organization, and this is the first year for St. Paul’s to take part in the week of awareness.
“It’s important for St. Paul’s to participate to call attention that there is an organization that is working toward parents having a choice in education,” Nail said. “It’s just a way to call attention so parents don’t get to where they don’t think they have any choices. There are choices out there.
“If they want their child to have a Christian education, they should be able to send them to a Christian school. If they want them to have a Jewish education, they should be able to send them to a Jewish school. Whatever the parents feel would give their kids the best education, maybe public school. I don’t think the government should dictate to parents that you have to send your child to a specific school.”
For more information, visit schoolchoiceweek.com.