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If Students Made the Calls

Photo by Alex Brandolino/SENTRY

Photo by Alex Brandolino/SENTRY

Patrick Rita, Sentry Staff Reporter

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Oh what I would do if I had the power to decide when we got snow days.  If there was even the slightest hint of a “wintry mix,” we’d be off.  Any sign of snow on the roads would be a guaranteed day off plus a likely two hour delay the following day.  Weather below 20 degrees? Better stay at home!

It may sound extreme, but in light of the debacle that took place on January 6 throughout Northern Virginia when schools wrongly made students come to school in icy, snowy conditions, I stand by my words.  In Fairfax County, a bus turned over and many kids were sent to the hospital.  In fact, #CloseFCPS became a trend on Twitter and Fairfax County became infamous for a day.  In Arlington, Yorktown Boulevard was a scene of chaos as minivans full of kids were spinning their tires, stuck in the snow.  Student safety had completely gone down the drain (or maybe it was buried beneath the snow) and the whole community was outraged.  So what does Arlington County do in response to all this? They send out a lighthearted apology, become more conservative with future storms about issuing delays, and overall try to forget about their huge mistake.

In my opinion, this is not good enough.  If there is even a threat of snow, school cancellation should be seriously considered. In the pre-dawn hours of January 6, the snowstorm had not yet started and it seemed as if there would not be enough snow to cause any sort of harm.  However, only a few hours later, the entire county experienced the closest thing to pandemonium since they replaced 7-Eleven on Lee Highway with a TitleMax. The main lesson to be learned from this, besides the fact that Arlington is ill-equipped to handle any kind of snowstorm, is that weather is unpredictable and should be handled with extreme caution.  As far as I am concerned, there is no reason to force children out into the snow to go to school.  There will be plenty more school days for the work to be made up.  Sure, Arlington County may seem weak for declaring snow days that turn out to be rainstorms, but it is much better than the national infamy that stemmed from not being cautious enough.

If it were up to me, we probably wouldn’t be at school very much from December to March, but I guess that’s why Arlington County doesn’t ask for my consultation whenever the possibility of a snow day arises.

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The student news site of Yorktown High School
If Students Made the Calls