Running Local

This Train of Thought Makes All Stops

Virginia is For…Wimps

Posted by Bob Kohm on January 28, 2009

I knew that the Fairfax County schools would be closed today– there’s two inches of snow on the ground and we had a couple of hours of sleet overnight so, obviously, the world is coming to an end. Worse, the Fairfax schools haven’t used a single snow day this year and they’re just burning a hole in the pocket of the school admins.

I’m a fierce proponent of safety for the students and staffs of our school system; I’ve battled it out in public with a friend (and Running Local reader) over the exact opposite problem, the fact that the NYC Schools never shut their doors no matter how dangerous it is to keep them open. Somewhere there has to be a happy medium, right? Two inches of snow should not shutter the schools, but they shouldn’t be open when there’s two inches of ice on the roads and zero visibility. Common sense, right?

If we’re going to turn around our nation and fight our way out of these hard times, perhaps we all need to toughen up just a bit, eh? Let’s start by not acting like the asteroid is about to hit the planet everytime it snows more than a dusting. Once we can handle that, maybe then we can get spending under control.

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5 Responses to “Virginia is For…Wimps”

  1. B-Fly said

    LOL. As the friend with whom you’ve battled in public, I’ll reiterate my position that a City committed to closing school only when necessary will invest the necessary resources in clearing and salting the roads (which costs a lot of dough in overtime and roadsalt), can make the roads safe for those students and teachers who rely on the roads to get to school. (Of course, very many of NYC’s public school students walk or take the subways.)

  2. Bob Kohm said

    And I still say come on out to District 25 in Flushing sometime when it’s still snowing or sleeting one morning at 7.30 😉

  3. Steve said

    Bob,
    Have you ever driven a school bus? I’d rather the districs err on the side of caution.

    Steve

  4. Bob Kohm said

    I agree about erring on the side of caution, but this kind of stuff is silly. Hell, even Obama took time out today to make fun of the DC area schools.

    Thanks!

    Bob

  5. B-Fly said

    The school buses run on the main roads that get plowed first. In fact, the Santitation Department knows that it needs to get to the bus routes first. I know your primary concern is for the teachers who live on unplowed side streets and drive to work, or the parents who live on side streets and drive their kids to school rather than walking them out to the bus stop on the main drag, but the vast majority of kids and staff have no trouble making it to school on a day like yesterday. If we tried to extend the year or cut a day from the February or April break to make up for lost snow days, like many suburban schools have to, we’d see far higher rates of student and teacher absenteeism.

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