Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Delayed Because it is Cold?

School delays and cancellations are inevitable but are very disruptive to schools and to the schedule of parents. Those that make these decisions are in a precarious situation because they will be second guessed regardless of the decision. The overriding factor always must the safety of the children. Some people consider this to be cliché’ or just an excuse but the safety and welfare of our children must be our primary concern.

Regardless of whether the cancellation is due to tornadoes, ice, or frigid temperatures, many times hind sight shows we could have stayed on a regular schedule and been just fine. However, in a county system where all schools must be on the same schedule weather conditions can vary greatly from one end of the county to the other.  This time for instance I have heard there were some icy bridges in the West Limestone district which prompted school to be canceled. All it takes is one bus to slide off a bridge and we have a horrible tragedy. Of course tragedies can occur any day, but when one can be foreseen, it is prudent to take steps so it can be avoided.

This is the first time I remember in a long time school being delayed for cold temperatures, but when you examine the details of what is taking place I still believe it was the wise choice. Limestone County has students, some of which are very young, waiting on buses very early in the morning. Diesel buses are sometimes slow to crank in subfreezing temperatures and a fifteen to thirty minute delay is not out of the question if a bus doesn't crank. None of us want a young child not dressed for single digit temperatures to have an extra thirty minutes to wait on a bus.

I am glad to say that I do not make the decisions to delay or cancel school so this is not a rationale for a decision I made. However I hear a lot of different opinions on TV and around town and just wanted to give a perspective of a school employee that deals with students and their life situations on a daily basis. Hopefully it will warm up soon and we can be back to a normal schedule. Caution is always warranted when dealing with the lives of our most precious treasure.

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