Archived Story

Kids’ safety always comes first

Published 6:00am Saturday, January 19, 2013

As I was working on this week’s story about what factors go into making a decision to dismiss school early or delay the start of school because of bad weather, I thought about how difficult it must be to make those decisions, especially when people get mad and gripe about it no matter what decision is made.

I’ll admit, I was guilty of being one of the gripers, even if I was only griping to myself in the confines of my vehicle as I sat behind three different school buses at 1:10 p.m. that caused me to be about 15 minutes late for where I was trying to go.

“The sun is shining,” I exclaimed to myself.

“Why in the world did they let school out? All the snow is melting!”

But as we all know, Alabama weather is a strange and unpredictable thing.

As evidenced Thursday, it can be snowing profusely one minute and the sun can be shining the next.

A situation that looks bad at the time might not be so bad in an hour’s time, or a situation that doesn’t really look bad could get worse in a matter of minutes.

After school officials described the many factors that go into a decision about changing the school schedule, I began to realize how difficult it would be to juggle all those unpredictable factors and try to make the best decision for everyone involved.

And, being a person who doesn’t like to have people upset with me, I though about how tiresome it would be to hear all the complaining once the decision has been made.

If school doesn’t let out, kids are upset that they don’t get out early, teachers are disappointed for the same reason, and parents are angry because they can’t have their child at home with them where they think it’s safest.

If school does let out, parents who work are angry because they have to find some way to get their child picked up at an abnormal time, parents get angry because they don’t think it was safe to have their children out in bad weather trying to get home, and teachers can get upset because it messes up their teaching schedule.

But thankfully, we have school officials here locally who don’t give a second thought to the factors I just described.

They aren’t worried about who will be mad or inconvenienced or disappointed. They’re only worried about the safety of the students, which is how it should be.

We may not always understand the decisions that school officials make, but we can rest assured that they have made a decision based on the best information they had available and are looking out for the kids in this community.

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