The Daily Gazette
The Locally Owned Voice Of The Capital Region

What? Skipping on the first day of school?

I got a good lesson on Thursday in why we must never assume anything.

I was at Mont Pleasant Middle School, interviewing seventh-graders on their first day of school, and I noticed two kids standing just outside the entrance.

The doors were propped open wide, it was bright and cheerful inside, but they weren’t setting a foot inside the building.

One of them was trying to balance on the railing. They both looked annoyed.

My first thought was: My God, they’re skipping on the FIRST day of school.

Then I saw another kid rolling down the street on his skateboard. Was nobody bothering to actually walk into the school?

I walked up to them, ready to interview them on why they don’t want to go to school.

When I said hello, they responded cheerfully. They even seemed interested. This wasn’t the sullen I-hate-everything attitude I’d expected.

It turned out they were eighth-graders — and they hadn’t realized that on the first day, they wouldn’t start school until 12:30 p.m. So they’d gotten up on time, they’d gotten to school on time — and they were told they’d have a four-hour wait.

They were bored to death, they said. But walking home was more trouble than just waiting.

As we talked, I realized these were the cream of the crop: the kids so excited about school that they stayed even when teachers shooed them away.

Here they were, with the perfect excuse — “I WENT to school, they sent me home!” — and they were still there.

Here’s hoping I get to see them walk across the stage in five years.

Reach Gazette reporter Kathleen Moore by email to

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