Dan's blog: Would you close school when it's cold?


This was the topic of conversation we had at work and many of you may have had a similar exchange today.

All agreed these are dangerous temperatures and all of us would want to spend as little time outside as possible. Forcing a child to wait at a bus stop with wind chills of minus 10 would be cruel, and I certainly would not want to do it. But how cold is too cold?

Do you close school when the temperature falls to 10 degrees or 20 degrees or 32 degrees? Different schools had different opinions.

Some of us like to talk about how we were forced to walk to school in 4 feet of snow, in 50 mph winds, barefoot, uphill both ways. Seems in the story telling the snow gets deeper the older you get. Those certainly were harsher times and few can argue we had it rougher.

Growing up our cars didn’t have air bags and we did not use seat belts. Our parents smoked in the car, we didn’t wear bike helmets and were allowed to ride in the back of a pickup truck. Yet, somehow we survived.

I feel for the schools' decision makers because no matter what you decide your call will be questioned. Keep school in session and you are heartless, decide to close school and you are coddling children.

For the parents, a closed school creates a situation where many are scrambling at the last minute for child care or faced with the decision of staying home from work losing pay.

We are wiser now and fortunately take much better care of our children. You have to wonder at what point we should allow children to have some level of discomfort.

If you were in charge and could decide when to call off school, what temperature and wind chill would you select?

I am not sure if there is a definitive answer for this. No one wants children to suffer in this extreme weather, but school decision makers had different opinions on having class today. They too struggle with this.

I am interested to hear your point of view.

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