At a meeting yesterday at Madison High School, Principal Sharon Knowlton had some fun throwing around words like "defamatory," "malicious," and "misinformation" to describe what I do on the Madville Times. (Those might be harsher words than Principal Stapert used the last time I got called to the principal's office. ;-) ).
Among the "misinformation" is my statement that Madison Central doesn't cancel classes for the Mundt Debate Tournament but simply does an early release, shortening classes and letting kids out early after lunch. For most of the history of the tournament, that was how the school district accommodated the contest without losing a day of school, which is how most schools handle tournaments.
Mrs. Knowlton insisted that my shoddy journalism missed the fact that Madison has cancelled classes for the entire Friday of Mundt for a long time, and that that willingness to cancel classes demonstrates even more the school's commitment to making the tournament work.
Now this is a small point. And heck, sometimes when I've been at Mundt coaching my own kids and judging, I've been too busy to pay attention to whether classes were in session or not. I do get things wrong.
Let's review the most recent contest dates to which Mrs. Knowlton seemed to refer:
- February 10, 2006: Madison High School listed as dismissing at 1:50 p.m. for curriculum and staff development.
- February 9, 2007: Madison High School listed as dismissing at 12:30 p.m. for curriculum and staff development.
- February 8, 2008: Madison High School listed as dismissing at 12:30 p.m. for curriculum and staff development.
By the way, there's a big South Dakota debate tournament honoring another great South Dakota Senator, the 17th Annual George McGovern Forensics Tournament at Mitchell High School Friday and Saturday. And check out their schedule: they manage to host a full tournament without even an early release.
As the Vulcan proverb goes, there are always possibilities.
One thing I know for sure, the Mundt Tournament is going to be looking for volunteers to help run the 2009 contest (February 13–14, when everyone else does indeed get the day off school!). If you're interested, give the school a call: Superintendent Vince Schaefer is at 256-7700; HS Principal Sharon Knowlton is at 256-7706.