The cancellation of school by most local districts Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday after last Saturday's snow fostered a spirited debate on the Second Opinion blog about whether the region over-reacted to the storm.
Let's err on the side of safety. These are children people - I don't give a flake if you've lived in Siberia and have dealt with running from polar bears while walking in pure "whiteouts." It's not you that is attending school. Being a parent, I'm annoyed at how quickly they close schools. But, what can you do about it?
I'm a native Buffalonian who works in Baltimore City Schools. Here's my point: Why weren't the Marylanders clearing their sidewalks Sunday? Many commenters said the sidewalks were ice, and you're absolutely right. But there was no excuse for not doing your civic duty and clearing your sidewalks. Saturday was the storm. Sunday was the cleanup. There should have been school Monday. Also, we only have 180 days of instruction. To say who cares about three days before Christmas is very irresponsible.
Most of the kids that I teach walk to school, and it would have been completely unsafe for them to do so.
Not only that, most of the teachers that teach in city schools do NOT live in the city. Our commutes bring us from as far away as Pennsylvania/West Virginia, and most side streets aren't clean. I went out to get groceries on Monday afternoon and had to turn around because of all of the snow STILL on the road. Baltimore isn't equipped like many other major cities are to handle snow.
New to MD
No matter what the reason for closing Baltimore County schools on Tuesday, my wife won't call it a "snow" day. She'll call it a "teacher shopping" day.
It's best the schools stay closed because the weather weenies who have expressed their concerns for their children have obviously raised those kids to be weenies themselves. And weenies are quick to blame others for problems they cause (like not being vigilant while walking along streets the way I did as an 8-year-old in 1958 when we had a major storm in Baltimore but schools were open soon after). And in 1958 there was so much snow plowed off the streets the sidewalks were like mountain ranges we had to walk around. Merry Christmas, kids!
Public schools were only supposed to be in session three days this week anyway. Would great academic progress really have been made? I'm delighted that my kids will have a lifelong memory of a Christmas-week blizzard that gave them an extra day to sled, build snowmen, drink hot chocolate and bake Christmas cookies at home while listening to carols. Is getting them into school where they can sit for a few hours in the restless pre-vacation hours so much more important or meaningful? Even today, it's still OK somtimes for a kid to be a kid.
Seems like many of those that favor keeping the schools closed are basing their comment on the fact that many sidewalks are still not cleared, right? Well then, how about the county/city enforcing their on-the-books codes requiring that sidewalks be cleared within 24 or 48 hours of the snow stopping?
And yes, my sidewalk (and driveway) are both cleared.