Weather Wuss Roundup--We're Still #1!
NEW YORK: A record 26 inches falls Sunday.
Today, from the New York City Board of Education site:
ALERT: NYC public schools will be open on Monday, February 13th. Buses will run on regular schedules, but delays should be expected.
PROVIDENCE, RI--It could have been worse, but the Providence area still managed to set a snowfall record for the day yesterday with 9.4 inches
From the Providence schools site:
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 13: ONE HOUR DELAY All Providence Schools have a one hour delayed school opening today due to the inclement weather.
And on and on: Up to a foot in Delaware, yet only three school districts in the state close; the rest open after a one or two hour delay.
But here, where, with the exception of some freakishly big dumps in the outer Maryland suburbs, we got considerably less snow, all of the major school systems except the District are shut tight. For years, we've been told that the conditions of the roads were the key determining factor in the decision to close schools. But this storm goes a long way toward showing that that's just a bunch of hokum: The various counties and other jurisdictions generally did a terrific job of clearing this snow and with a leisurely 24-plus hours to prepare for the resumption of business Monday morning, just about every major thoroughfare in the area was quite clear. Traffic this morning was light and easy. Yet the schools still close. As many of you have noted in comments on the other snow-related posts on this blog, we are raising a generation of weather wusses. Why?
Fear. Lawyers fear lawsuits, administrators fear lawyers, teachers fear parents. All of them fear the wrath of that theoretical taxpayer who might accuse them of endangering a child by sending a bus out onto an icy street. Never mind that the streets weren't particularly icy. Never mind that ice is an ordinary byproduct of winter and one that any reasonable careful driver can manage. Never mind that the very same governments that run the schools were sanguine enough with ordering their employees to come to the office on the same day that the schools are shuttered.
Long before the first flake had fallen this weekend, on Friday evening, my kids' school notified parents that a music festival scheduled for Saturday would be cancelled. The reason, according to a missive from a parent volunteer: "Potential weather."
That phrase sums up the problem here. It's not as if we don't have enough real stuff to worry about in this little world of ours. We even have far better potential events to fret over. I'll take "potential terrorism" over "potential weather" any day, though even terrorism doesn't impel me to act unless it is either occurring, impending, or very concretely promised.
As it turned out, of course, not a flake of snow fell on Saturday. The festival was cancelled for naught. Luckily, the school has more of a spine than most, and so there I was at 7:30 this morning, driving car pool. We made it to school in record time and encountered zero traffic, zero ice, nothing but careful drivers who somehow knew that a bit of snow is actually not the same as terrorism.
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