Several school districts in Delaware are closed today for the bitter cold. I personally disagreed with this decision. Until I read the former Rsmitty’s post on Facebook about it, which I am republishing here:
Yeah, 25+ years ago, many had one parent at work and the other parent at home to make sure you left the house bundled up like little brother Randy from The Christmas Story. In 2013, this ideal is far less reality and more dreamt about. Either both parents work or the only parent of the household is working, creating a whole different dynamic than that of Carol and Mike Brady (they also had Alice to help…but they lived in California…lazy bums). There is also the reality that in many cases, today’s students don’t have a warm car (if it even starts tomorrow) to wait in at the bus stop or to ride in to get to school. It is also a reality that some of today’s students don’t have adequate coats for single-digit temps, let alone -20 wind chills, if not lower. Why do you think coat drives are such a HUGE deal? Remember what is impacted by wind chills: HUMANS. So, the low is supposed to be +2 to +7, but the wind chills -20 or lower. Frost bite in minutes, hypothermia moments later. That cozy winter coat you might have gotten for Christmas isn’t even adequate for -20, unless you got it from an outdoorsman oriented store, specifically for high-altitude mountain trekking in the winter. But, it’s not just a coat. Thick mittens, not gloves, mittens, are necessary. Knit-style hat? Of course. Better have a scarf, too. Goggles, yes goggles, as well, since the surface of your eyes, seriously, are in equal danger from that exposure. No small amount of exposed flesh is safe from this, not a bit. Yup, it’s inconvenient that I have to be home tomorrow, but on the contrary, my kids are never inconvenient to me, neither is the notion that a less-forunate kid is better off for this decision.
And…yes…schools from New England through the upper Midwest are all closed, we are not an anomoly. In the reality of 2013, where far too many kids are left to grow up with decisions on their own far more quickly than we were, for whatever circumstance, this is fine on the broader spectrum. I, for one, will not be seeking to “vote out the school board” or make the superintendent stand up to explain himself to the taxpayers over this. I instead will be happy my kids have a warm home and are still blissfully ignorant of the crap that awaits them as adults.
I might also note two other issues that factored into the decision to close schools. First, the crossing guards for walking students (of which there are many in the city and in Brandywine Hundred), would have to be out in this cold for four straight hours. Second, schools with trailers that serve as classrooms. Not only would the trailer themselves be cold, but the walk for the students back and forth to the main school building.
Err on the side of caution.