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December 19, 2007

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Discussion Topic: Should Kids Miss School To Hunt?

From the Wyoming-Tribune Eagle:

In October, Jeff Garcia took his fifth-grade son on an elk-hunting trip.

The annual trip had been planned well in advance and had been discussed with the child’s teacher. Garcia had made a deal with his son that his grades had to be good, A’s and B’s only, and he had to complete all his school work. . . .

When October rolled around, each of Garcia’s terms had been met, and his son got to go hunting for a week up in the Sierra Madres . . . . But things weren’t as cheery when they returned.

 “When I got back, I had a little surprise from the school district,” Garcia said.

For each day missed, the school district had sent a letter home notifying the parents there had been an unexcused absence.

Be sure to check out the full article, then tell us what you think.



Sounds to me like a very responsible parent (and son) and the foolishness that is so prevalent in "public education". Bet that's where the School Board Members learned their lack of morals and common sense. Encouraging "lying" just to get by??? Sounds rather Clintonesque.


My kid's school is the same way.

School dismisses @ 3:10. If I pull my child out anytime before that time, he or she will be marked as tardy on their attendance record.

I talked with the principal about it and he told me the police about absences and tardies was put in place to make parents quit taking their kids on vacations and missing days of school or picking their kids up early and disrupting classes without consequences. That and schools won't receive their full amount of federal and state monies if children are absent too often.

So what does a parent do? If you want to take your kid on a vacation or hunt, I guess you have to lie and call in everyday and tell the school your kid is sick.

And before everyone jumps all over me, look @ the realities of life. In the realm of money, business and sports, cheaters win.

It's all about the money.Period.


And no I don't condone it, but it's hard when you teach your kid that being nice and following the rules is what you should do and then watch people who cheat and lie and screw people over get ahead and become wealthy and/or famous while nice guys get kicked in the nads.



if the kids grades are good and they can make up their work then i say screw the school district rules. take a kid hunting.


Yes - if it's a family outing. And the kid is performing to certain academic and behavior standards.

No - if it's a couple of kids playing hooky.

Of all places - Wyoming! Seems absurd to not have a hunting exemption for school kids. I suspect too many urbanites are invading the formerly wild west.

I remember 8th grade - a lot of empty seats on opening day. Nobody died, everyone graduated, the school still functioned and the earth continued spinning on its axis.

(Man - do I have a lot of work to do. Back to the rock pile.)

Mike Diehl

Another reason added to the list of reasons why I suspect most people with any sort of administrative power are nucking futs.


Somehow I bet that if the parents had taken Junior to DisneyWorld the school would have considered the trip 'Education Related' and not made a fuss!


Sounds like every one agrees on this one. although I do not condone lying I would call in sick to keep my son or myself from having to pay the ridiculous consequences. Providing he has good grades the work can or already is made up.


I am a principal at an elementary school. I am an avid hunter and pull my kids out of school all of the time. Hunting is a family event and I would never allow anyone to discourage me or my children from participating.

I tell parents that ask me the same thing. I do it, so just let the teacher know and the office know and everything will be ok. Any competent person will underastand the importance of spending time with children.



Any thoughts on how unexcused absences affect school funding? As I understand it in Ohio, one of the variables used in calculating the state funding of local school districts is attendance. Is it an automatic assumption that an unexcused absence results in decreased funding?

If so, then those who declared: "follow the money" on this story may be correct.


my school counts hunting trips under unexcused absences, but vacations are excused. and southern ohio gets opening season off of school but by lake erie we dont get squat

michael crandall

I have this problem every October, November, and December. Every year me and my stepdad head up to Georgia to hunt the first week of the season, some time around Thanksgiving, and some time around Crhistmas. I always get in trouble in school about. I believe all schools should give some vacation time for students to allow us to hunt.


Other schools in this area do get time off to hunt. But my school doesnt, but i think that they should. As a student i wouldnt have to beg my parents to get me out of school to hunt.


Makes no sense to me. It's one thing if the kids are out and parents are not involved, but as a parent it's MY choice if my kid attends or doesn't attend.

The father met with the teacher, made appropriate arrangements, and essentially did everything right. There's no rational reason for the school district to react as it did.

There is a reason, however. Someone else pegged it. Funding is based on butts in seats... not on logic or reason. If they don't meet a certain average, then funding is threatened. That, by the way, is NOT the doing of the school board, but of the Federal Goobermint.


i in high school in wisconsin and we used to get hunting season off casue it was the week of thanksgiving now they makes us go the monday and tuesday but always skip and the school is fine with it. there are at least 150 or more kids out of 600 that are gone for hunting.


It should be fine to take a few days off from school to go hunting. I am a grad student at Nebraska and I have taken several days off school to go hunting throughout my academic career. I worked 14+ hour days trying to get ahead in my coursework the week preceeding deer season this year and was rewarded by being able to go home where I harvested a trophy buck. If the student works hard all year and has good grades they should be rewarded by being excused to go hunting. As long as they do not abuse the privelage there should be no problems.


This thing stinks all over of "butts in seats get the money."

But - the policy did say that a death in the family was legit. So next year, they should just "adopt" an elk. Oops, the elk died(nowhere does it say you have to say the elk died from an '06). Voila! A "death in the family."

Sounds to me like the Dad had his stuff straight; there's a hell of a lot more to learning than No Child Left Behind, damn GOP. How about teaching astronomy through the stars outside, meteorology from cloud type and wind, angles and navigation with a map and compass, biology through tracks, reading through some classic hunting stories...I could go on and on.

My little guy is still too young, but you can bet your ass he's taking opening day of deer season and trout season off starting the day he's legal for both. End of story.


This P.C. bullcrap world needs a good, swift kick in the kiester. The kid was doing well, the father let the teacher know, what the hell is the problem? Red tape beaurocratic bull crap is the problem! And I thought stupidity was only to be found in the liberals of my hometown of NYC...this disease has affected WYOMING, TOO??!!! Sad. Oh so very sad. Shame on the administrators of that school!

RJ Arena

I think parents should take their kids out of school to hunt and to fish, and to do special things with them. back when I was a kid it wasn't called bonding, it was called spending time with dad, and it was the best. there was no other way to pass on traditions like hunting or fishing. Merry Christmas.


I really don't think taking your kids out of school just to go hunting is really legit.
Did I ever take my kids out of school to go hunting? Yep!
Both my kids worked in the office as seniors in HS. Both had it explained to them the "butts in seats....." thing.
My kids never missed more than 1 day of school. My oldest had an opportunity to attend a function, not school related that required missing 4 days. When the principle was informed, HE scheduled make up work with appropriate teachers and OK'd the whole she-bang! Guess you need folks that can think instead of be sphincter muscles!



My school doesn't get any time off for hunting season, but I think we should. I think that hunting is a good time to get out and get involved with nature. I think that it helps you bond with whoever takes you hunting. In Indiana there are some big deer but there are becoming fewer places to hunt. The first week of the season my uncle shot a tall racked main framed eight pointer with unbelievable mass and a bunch of sticker points. He probably scored in the high 160's.


I live and hunt in wyoming. Growing up if my grades were good I was pulled out to go hunting. My mom never lied to the school but she would just tell them I would be gone for a couple days.
It used to be that kids got out for time to harvest the crops or move the cattle why not to hunt for food too.



Good point Brent. Several of my friend in high took off when crops where coming in. It didnt make a damn what the school thought there was work to be done. For the record the school didnt make to much about that or takin off for hunting. Matter of fact I hunted on the Vice Principal's property on a school day and he knew it.


I'm a junior in Michigan, we are allowed 7 absences per trimester as long as they are legit excuses, not just skipping. We are allowed to fill out a pre-areranged absence were we get signed permission form taechers and all of our work, we then meet with the principle who oks or denies the trip. However, if you miss more than seven days 20% grade reduction.


It got to the point where so many kids were gone on opening day of deer season in North Dakota schools that it is now just a day off most years.

When I was in school we even had a simple form to get signed by a parent stating that we were going to be gone for hunting. There was no backlash, no holding the parents responsible, no cheating. Those who remained in school got to watch movies, play games or read a book.

Simpler, better times.

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