Oh, the memories of schooldays. For those old enough, nostalgia is laden with stern but well-meaning nuns and swimming naked in gym class (apparently this is a real thing that once happened in America). 

According to some parents, the memories for the kiddos currently occupying the kindergarten and early elementary grade classrooms at District 97 schools won’t be so innocent (if naked swimming can be called that). 

During the public comment section of a Dec. 19 regular D97 school board meeting, one parent of a sixth-grader and a third-grader depicted a scenario where elementary students at D97 are on iPad devices “toggling back and forth between playing video games and streaming R-rated movies … doing nothing but looking at screens.” 

“The woman before me gave me this horrifying vision of what is going to be my life five to six years [from now],” said the parent of a kindergartener who spoke afterward and complained about her child having to endure lesson plans, marked by lots of anxious sitting (and working on math and literacy drills) and not enough play. 

The dystopian conditions presented by the parents could be fodder for an episode of Netflix’s Black Mirror (not to give students any ideas). 

So readers (particularly D97 parents), what do you think? On a real-world spectrum — ranging from sci-fi to Steve James documentary — how closely do you think these testimonials hew to reality? Email us your responses to michael@oakpark.com. We want to know. 

Michael Romain  

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