MINOT, N.D. — My daughters will go back to school very soon — one to middle school, the other to her second year at Bismarck State — and I’ll admit to no small amount of trepidation.

For my middle-schooler, in particular.

We’ve opted to send her to in-person classes for as long as they’re available. Distance learning did not work well for us last year. The instruction time was minimal; the teachers almost unreachable for communication.

We want an experience that is about as close to normal as we can get.

We’re hoping we can see the schools re-open without a spike in infections, something that would prompt a mandatory return to distance learning for all students in our district.

Which is why I was angry when my school’s athletics department sent out a text about fees and practice schedules for fall sports.

I was dimly aware, in this busy time, that high school sports were going to be happening despite the pandemic. Somehow this news, coming from the school my child attends, hit home.

Why are we doing scholastic sports this fall?

Continue reading…