Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

January 29, 2014

‘Weather or not’: Schools did the right thing

VALDOSTA — We will know today if the forecasts were right or wrong. No matter, based on those forecasts, school officials were right in closing schools.

Mid-day Tuesday, most schools had already announced they would close Wednesday. Only Valdosta State University kept students and media watchers in suspense as its decision didn’t come until late afternoon.

If the roads are icy today, if there is snow, if there is sleet, if there is low temperatures, frozen roads, etc., school officials will be praised for their foresight.

If the temperatures didn’t fall as predicted, if the snow and sleet are only a shower of rain, or if there’s no precipitation, if kids are running free on a no-snow snow day, school officials will be criticized.

But they shouldn’t be.

Deciding to close schools in the face of winter weather is a tough call. Especially in the South, where winter is often a few really cold days in the lower 30s and upper 20s, where snow seems like something seen only on TV rather than out our windows.

No, if anything, the schools erred on the side of caution. Had they not closed schools and buses filled with children perilously or tragically slid across icy roads, school officials would have been pilloried.

If the weather is milder than predicted today, cut school officials some slack. They made a call in deference to the safety of our children. If they are criticized too harshly, they may mistakenly ignore such forecasts in the future.  

If the weather is harsh today, thank them and give them praise.

Either way, based on the weather information available, let school officials know they did the right thing.

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