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Keeping students safe on snow days

As a student at Baltimore City College, I was directly affected by Baltimore City schools CEO Gregory Thornton's decision to open schools on time during the recent snowfall. That decision, which probably was based on his experience in other cities that are more capable at handling snowstorms than Baltimore, was a mistake. But the schools chief shouldn't be scapegoated for the city's incompetence every time it is faced with snow ("Schools criticized for decision to open despite snow," Jan. 6).

Whenever it snows, the plows are late or entirely absent on the roads. The supply of salt runs out and accidents abound.

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At my school there's an annual tradition of students walking on snow- and ice-covered walkways to get into the building. Last year, I witnessed dozens of falls involving both students and faculty. The sidewalks are treacherous and threaten the safety of all who use them.

Last year, I emailed my principal about the hazardous conditions, and despite her responsiveness at the time, the problem persists this year. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and the city need to work with the school system to overhaul our snow response plans so that they better serve the students and residents of Baltimore the next time it snows.

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David Pontious, Baltimore

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