Ex Ed on Yom Kippur

As I pulled up to the front doors of the high school with my mother in our white Jeep, I let the conversation settle in my mind. I would not be home for Yom Kippur, the holiest Jewish holiday of the year, because of Ex Ed. I stood inside the school with a solemn look on my face as my friend told me that my mom, head in her hands, was crying in the parking lot.

I wouldn’t ever want this to happen again, to me or to anyone else. Nothing of the situation made sense to me. Why wouldn’t the school board choose a different time? Do they even take Yom Kippur into consideration of Ex Ed dates? Why is it that this was the “best” time for Ex ed? Will they allow this conflict to happen again? To find out the answers to my unresolved questions, I decided to further investigate the situation by interviewing Assistant Superintendent, Tom Heald.  

Ex Ed was previously in the spring but there were several reasons why it was changed to the fall, including conflict with IB exams and inclement weather on some of the trips. Unfortunately, this change was made despite a conflict with the Jewish holiday. Weather and testing are also quite poor reasons because Aspen kids are tough enough to handle a little snow and if they had Ex Ed near IB testing for years, then why did it suddenly have to be changed?

Ex Ed being moved from spring to fall wasn’t the only problem with the conflict between the holiday and the week long trip. Football played a big part in the situation. According to John Bangley, Assistant Principal, we were unable to change the football schedule because of the two-year cycle. The two-year cycle ensures that whatever time our football team played the other last year, will be played again the same time this year. What I don’t understand is why the school didn’t plan ahead so that the two-year cycle didn’t conflict with Yom Kippur.

Another point Bangley made was that we couldn’t have Ex Ed earlier because that would fall on the same dates as the middle and elementary school Outdoor Ed times. “There’s not enough equipment or bus drivers or busses to get everybody to where they go,” the Assistant Principal explained. He also said that we couldn’t have Ex Ed on the second week of school because that would push the middle and elementary school ODE dates to be over Yom Kippur. However, our school could rent buses and then have the different trips share rides.

It is offensive to the Jewish community that the school board would allow Ex Ed to interfere with such a sacred holiday. I can only hope that the next time Yom Kippur is as early as this year, the school board will not let Ex Ed fall on the same dates yet again.