Return to school should be a positive experience

Students in Minot public schools head back to class this week while the youngest among them will be taking the first bold steps in their formal education.

My, my what heady times. Remember your first day of school?

Meeting new teachers, seeing old friends again and making new ones. It’s a wonder that some kids, perhaps many, dread going back to school.

Lately, thoughts of school shootings have students across the country legitimately concerned for their lives and the lives of their classmates. Not so much here, we hope. Speaking more toward what is happening around the country, it’s such a shame that what one day never crossed our minds – mass killings at schools – is now arguably the biggest concern regarding public education.

The first day of school should be all about the smell of new textbooks, packages of fresh markers, pencils and pens, notebooks with yet to be doodled-on pages – those mundane but highly memorable moments in the lives of children. Not fear.

Fortunately for kids here in Minot, their schools are getting a little bit safer every year as more safeguards are added. Sunday’s front page story on back-to-school, by Andrea Johnson, included details about what is new this year. For example, this year there will be two full-time school resource officers at the in-town middle schools, Jim Hill and Erik Ramstad Middle School, as well as at Minot High School-Magic City Campus and Minot High School-Central Campus. In the past, the middle schools had school resource officers there on a part-time basis.

That is a sure step toward making Minot schools safer.

Yes, we know we are not quite “there” yet, wherever “there” is. We get it that our kids will never be 100 percent safe at school no matter how much time, money, training and forethought goes into making it so.

But teachers, administrators and board members are to be commended for the proactive measures they have already taken and for maintaining focus.

We hope that all have a wonderful and rewarding experience in school this year.