Indiana Association of Fairs wants student excused from school to participate in fairs

Group circulating petition

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana fair organizers are seeking support for a measure that would grant excused absences to students who miss class to participate in agricultural events such as 4-H fairs.

The Indiana Association of Fairs is circulating a petition calling for legislation to ensure students aren't punished if they miss class to attend the Indiana State Fair or other events.

Association representative David Smith told The Herald-Times that agriculture is an educational experience. He says students shouldn't be penalized for participating in events such as the state fair.

The effort is being driven by concern about changing school calendars that have shortened summer vacations.

Many Indiana schools will resume classes during the state fair's Aug. 2-to-Aug. 18 run.

Mark Fort -- whose 11-year-old son, Jack, participates in 4-H -- supports the petition, saying 4-H is an educational experience that builds character.

"It shows the kid discipline, responsibility, the value of a dollar," Mark Fort said. "And I think that most of the kids that are in 4-H, they seem to be able to handle the workload, the extra load of going to the State Fair and coming back and doing the extra work to catch up."

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