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NYC - Where Winter Means Safety Comes Second
Walking is Dangerous - What if you Can't Do That Though
Winter Storm: 2/13/14 NYC Schools Open
If you've read ANY of my hubs before, you likely know that I live in New York City. Not just that, I live in Staten Island which is about as rural as New York City gets. We often consider ourselves the forgotten borough wih good reason. Today, on February 13, 2014, we got hit with a huge snowstorm that is set to dump 10 inches of snow, rain, sleet and hail on us and then it will all freeze over. In the wake of this storm, New York City schools decided to stay OPEN!!
Why It's an Issue
I've lived here my entire life. They never like to close the schools during snowstorms and the excuses are that the inner city kids need to get a hot meal and that parents that HAVE to go to work, need some place to put their kids for the day. Since when did going to school equal meals and baby-sitting services. If you are a parent who has to go to work, wouldn't you band together with other parents to make sure your kids have a safe place to stay during the storm? Why would you send your kids into the storm? Since when did safety come SECOND?
Here's the Problem
Forcing parents to send kids to school (because they wil not have the absence excused which is important) based on hot meals and baby sitting is nuts. NUTS. The newscasters are telling us to stay off the streets, stay at home, and the governments of NY and NJ declared states of emergency - BUT GET YOUR KIDS TO SCHOOL!!!
(You should say that last sentence in a Lewis Black voice and inflection, actually that works for this entire hub!).
Hey you morons, there's 9 inches of snow on the ground. It's snowing, it's sleeting, it's hailing, it's raining, the roads are slick, the sidewalks aren't shoveled, the plows can't keep up with the falling storm - BUT GET YOUR KIDS TO SCHOOL!!
Oh! Wait a minute, my kid, who follows Mayor DiBlasio's kid on Twitter, let us know that the mayor's kid didn't go to school either!!!! WHAT?!?!
The school's chancellor got on the podium to explain their decision and instantly came across like the world's biggest idiot. She says it's important that the schools are open so that kids can get work done before they are off for the next week. Really? How, you idiot? How are they supposed to learn anything...
...WHEN THE TEACHERS CAN'T GET TO THE SCHOOL EITHER!!
And those warm meals you expected to serve? Let's follow some simple logic here. If the kids can't get to school, and the teachers can't get to the school, how are the cafeteria workers getting there? No, that doesn't make any sense...
...WE SHOULD PUT THEM ALL IN DANGER BY FORCING THEM INTO THE STORM!
How could they have gotten this so wrong? I totally understand not closing schools for a couple of inches of snow, but nine inches of wintery crud, slop and slush? That might be a bit much. How come the surrounding states can all close schools and can figure out to do that the night before the coming snow. Every single time. Every time there is a storm, the schools in New Jersey and Connecticut close early - so that parents can make plans for the next day.
Why can't NYC do that? It isn't too much to plan one day ahead is it?
How about this?
When I was a kid and I went to school on snow days, we didn't learn anything. In fact, we really didn't do anything. IF the teacher showed up, they didn't hold a real class since most of the class wasn't there in the first place. So they gathered the few "brave souls" that made it into school and stuck them in the auditorium to watch a movie or tossed a few of us into the gym for extended play-time. We certainly didn't learn anything (except maybe that our parents were as stupid as the government for sending us in the first place).
So when there is a major snowstorm, like this insanity outside right now, maybe safety should come first. Maybe the mayor and schools chancellor should really think about what happens when they attempt to keep the schools open. They are putting everyone in danger - the students, the teachers, the other school workers (like cafeteria workers and janitors), even the bus drivers (there was an accident today in the Bronx), the other drivers on the road and the emergency crews trying to clear the roads of snow.
WHY ARE WE PUTTING ALL OF THESE PEOPLE IN DANGER?
Because the thought that we need to feed and babysit some students (who likely aren't showing up for school anyway) comes before those students safety. Amazing. They said the decision was partially based on the MTA saying it was ready to go? Buses and trains have been having issues all day - I should trust that the bus will show up on time to pick my child up from school.
IT DIDN"T LAST TIME!
That's right. The city bus didn't bother showing up and left my daughter and a couple of her friends, along with a lot of other students out in the cold. My wife was forced to go get hem from the high school. Unbelievable. And you know what - I'm not mad at the buses and trains - there IS a storm going on so we should expect problems. However, my kid shouldn't have been forced to go to school and have to handle those problems when she could have stayed safely in the house in the first place.
So thank you New York City. You are great for many, many things. Unfortunately, how you handle your snow days IS NOT ONE OF THEM.
oh, and by the way... the schools chancellor needs her head examined if she thought yesterday was "a beautiful day". That's right, she said it with a straight face. I'm amazed she got out of that press conference alive though she (and Mayor DiBlasio) and getting killed in every kind of media you can name.