Not everyone is happy about Montgomery County’s reaction to a little winter weather over the last few days.
Multiple winter weather advisories calling for some icy conditions and a few inches of snow caused Montgomery County Public Schools cancellations and delays for much of last week. The delays were piled on top of federal holidays including Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the 2013 presidential inauguration.
Winston Churchill High School student Patch blogger Kenvin Hauschild detailed the closures and delays, calling the last week a “crazy” beginning to the semester:
Second semester starts and already we have not have a full day of school. Here is how the week started:
Monday-Tuesday: No school
Wednesday: the start of the second semester. Also an administrative homeroom for new schedules (30-35 minute classes)
Thursday: 2hr delay (30 minute classes)
Friday: a "regular" day. We have 4 morning classes (45 minutes) [schools were dismissed early due to weather concerns]
Monday of this week saw another two-hour delay for schools across the region, including MCPS, for fears of predicted icy conditions. Federal and state government employees were given a period of “liberal leave” on Monday, and many weren’t required to report to offices until noon.
“This winter has proved that we are just genetically incapable as a region not to go full panic at the mention of snow,” wrote David Heyman in a blog on Patch. “Last week, we had school closures for two separate one-inch snowfalls. It is not necessary, it is not about safety, it is just pathetic.”
The native Washingtonian titled his blog and went on to argue that the school closures and delays teach children that snow is something to be afraid of.
According to the MCPS website, decisions on weather delays and cancellations are made using varity of information sources, including National Weather Service reports, inspections of roads throughout the county and information about neighboring jurisdictions.
“The most severe conditions within the county are used as the basis for the decision-making criteria,” the website states. “A uniform procedure to close all schools is maintained so that the school system can respond quickly to emergency conditions and protect the safety and well being of students and staff who attend both public and non-public schools and receive transportation services from Montgomery County.”
What was your reaction to school closings caused by a few inches of snow? Was MCPS too hasty in making these calls?