Game for learning? Not Monday morning in the Pittsburgh schools
Saturday, February 05, 2011

Steeler Nation, as we all know, is no nanny state. So why do Pittsburgh Public Schools students need a two-hour delay the morning after the Super Bowl?

The reason, the district said, is "for the safety of our students."

A spokeswoman said Thursday, "As you know, with the Super Bowl comes a lot of Super Bowl parties and such. We just feel it's best not to have our students out very early with people who have been up late." The people she was referring to were those "on the road who may be out early after having a very late night."

While some Pittsburghers have been known to celebrate a Super Bowl victory with excessive gusto, it's easier to imagine their recklessness in public between midnight and 2 a.m. than at 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. We can't help but wonder if the real reason for canceling the first two hours of class Monday is to give adults -- parents, teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria staff, etc. -- more time to get on their game face for work. If so, for shame.

Pittsburghers commonly extol the virtues required to get a team to the Super Bowl -- dedication, hard work, perseverance. Yet none of these is evident in a school policy that lops off two hours of learning the morning after the region might be happy about the outcome of, well, a football game.

President Barack Obama stressed the notion of well-ordered priorities when he said in his State of the Union address, "We need to teach our kids that it's not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair." Indeed.

But for Pittsburgh students it could be worse. They could be in Green Bay, where the city's public schools will close Monday at noon so everyone can welcome home the Packers.

First published on February 5, 2011 at 12:00 am