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The Stress of Snow Days
 
Kelsey Rodriques
Opinion & Student Life Editor
March 3, 2015
 
This winter, Fall River was hit especially hard by inclement weather. In a scenario not unheard of in a New England school district, a series of blizzards and horrid conditions led to over five cancelations and two delays for the Fall River Public School District in the last weeks of January and the month February. 
 
A criteria needs to be developed to avoid such chaos in the future, and there will undoubtedly be many more “snow days” in the years to come. The decision of whether or not school will be canceled should be determined based on the potential safety hazards of the day ahead and not on the amount of days that have been lost to that point. Snowfall, temperature, wind chill, and road conditions are just a few of the many factors that should be taken into consideration. Conditions do not become any less dangerous just because there have been days off. 
 
Like in most situations, it's impossible to please everyone, but at this point its just a tad ridiculous. When the decision is announced in the morning people complain that it should have been announced earlier. If the decision is announced the night before people get angry that it's premature and attest that it should only be decided once its already awful out. 
 
In the comments sections of Facebook posts regarding the days off, a place often devoid of common sense and proper grammar, I often see people bringing up that proverbial “when I was a child…” reasoning that fails to take any factors other than distant childhood memories into consideration. 
 
Commute to Durfee on President Avenue on the morning of Tuesday, February 10th.
                                        -Hilltop File Photo
 

An example of this would be on Tuesday, February 3, when parents were notified that while there was school with a 1 hour delay, tardiness and absences would be excused. Complaints still flooded in, with one Facebook user remarking that, “the fact that it counts as excused is pathetic.” Minus the fact that this arrangement seems to completely disregard the safety of staff, as they are expected to be there the usual time, I argue that this was an incredibly mindful arrangement.

Considering the overwhelming amount of students in our city who walk, to the bus stop or for the entirety of their journey to school, slick road conditions, and the already colossal snow mounds that decrease driver visibility, it seems quite careless to penalize students and parents who do not feel that a single day of instruction is worth risking their lives over. 

 
Ultimately, parents are in charge of their children’s education and safety. If you are concerned about how the days off will affect your child there are plenty of activities that can be done at home that are educational. Practice math problems, build a volcano, paint a picture - the opportunities are endless.
 
If they can handle two months off in the summer without becoming illiterate, I assure you their IQs can withstand a cold week indoors with a good book. Additionally, if it is clearly unsafe for your child to get to school but it hasn't been canceled, the solution, if possible, is to not send them. After all, they won’t be getting an education when they’re sitting in the hospital either.