Education Editorial: Schools and weather

By: Bill Bosher - email

A school superintendent recently said, "When I write my memoirs, there will be at least one chapter on meteorology."

This week gave more credence to that assumption. While in Henrico, I had a call from a mom who was quite upset about the late decision, and she had to undress her children after getting up early to get them ready.

She, in frustration said, "What am I suppose to do?"

I responded, "Just reverse the process." An unacceptable answer, it too was in frustration having been up half the night trying to determine the correct call.

Once, after several days with snow, ice, and persistent low temperatures, a mother called and said, "These children are driving me nuts. You have to do something."

I explained that the conditions were not safe and appealed to her to offer any suggestions that she might have. Her response was to get some buses to a mall in the east end and another in the west and parents would bring them to the locations. I asked, "What do we do with then?" Her response was, "Ride them around."

Snow calls are relatively accurate projections with very concrete implications. As a thirty-year pilot, I understand how the weather can change in minutes!...and significantly.

Schools first and ultimately must be safe. Secondly, there are few if any ways to reasonably open parts of the county or city and close others. Third, no one remembers how bad it was when asked to make up school in the Spring or summer.

By the way, it is also useless to add "snow days" because the calendar still has to be changed based upon the unpredictable weather.

Oh, lastly, also remember that the superintendent's decision is not final…if you don't feel good about the call, don't send your children to school that day.

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