While this was not my original intended post for today, since I have a platform that I can use to talk about anything I want, including rant and complain from time to time, I plan on using it.
I need to talk about snow days. Rather, the announcement of snow days. Pretty much every district in Maryland announces their snow days on the school’s website, email, cell phone blasts, news channels and social media.
Most social media posts look something like this:
And of course, any time you put anything on social media, you essentially open yourself up to everyone having an opinion on any and all of the things.
This counts for snow closures, too.
We have had ice for the past two days in Maryland; some snow, but mostly ice in the form of sleet and freezing rain. We have also had a lot of “normal” rain also which made for a lot of slick areas as the temperatures dipped below freezing. Basically, most of Maryland is one big ice rink.
Southern parts of Maryland are better than the northern parts, which is also pretty normal for our state. But the way our counties are divided, a lot of the counties have a northern part that gets more snow and ice and a southern part that doesn’t so much. I don’t know why it was made that way, I didn’t have anything to do with it.
All of this being said, we’re a screwy state and because of that, basically every one of these posts you see above gets littered with comments such as these:
“My street is fine, I don’t see why we have to close.”
“This is such an inconvenience to those of us who work for a living.”
“I don’t know why you couldn’t have just announced this last night, you knew you were going to close.”
“I just made lunch for my kids, NOW you decide to close?”
“So, now I guess you’re going to intrude on our summer plans because you’re wasting a snow day for rain.”
“I was just outside and drove to work, I had no issues, you all need to go outside before you make silly decisions.”
“I don’t know who makes these calls, but clearly they are too soft, it’s just a little water.”
It looks fine at your house. That’s great, take your kids out to breakfast.
You made it to work already? Awesome, so I guess your children are taken care of for the day.
You made lunch for your kids? Guess what you don’t have to do later?!
I get these decisions can be inconvenient, especially for parents who work and need to find child care. I get it.
But let’s talk about the reasons for these decisions. School districts have to make decisions based on the best interest of the majority of their students. If half the schools are still icy; they’re closing. If they can’t plow enough schools; they’re closing.
Just because your area is fine, doesn’t mean it is everywhere.
For instance: I work in a county that didn’t close or delay. On my way into work this morning (at 6am) I saw 5 trees down, and I mean big old trees that have been standing for years. I saw icy roads (including main roads and highways) and accidents. My county, that didn’t close, had a school bus full of elementary students hit a tree that fell in the road due to ice. Ice continued to fall during the school day and the drive home for many was treacherous.
Guess what county could possibly get sued if a parent from that school bus accident wants to be compensated for their child’s injuries/traumas?
Because we opened…and we shouldn’t have.
And I realize I sound salty for being open on time when most other counties (including the one I live in — because I live and work in different counties) opened late or closed altogether, and I may be…slightly.
But, really, unless you understand what goes into making these decisions, you don’t have the room to judge the people who are forced to make them. They are trying to make decisions based on protecting their students and for everyone’s general welfare. I am in a state that is sometimes too cautious and may close when they didn’t fully have to, I admit that. But it’s better to be too safe than have kids getting into accidents that they don’t need to be in.
Thank you for listening to me rant, it will be back to regularly scheduled programming on Thursday.