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CHARLES TOWN – When word came Monday evening that Jefferson County Schools would be closed the following day because of the extreme cold, we posted the news on Facebook and then asked if the county’s leaders had chosen correctly.
It’s a hot debate amid the cold. Between days off for Christmas break, the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and days off because of snow and below-zero temperatures, students have been out of class for much of January.
Most of the more than 100 who weighed in on Facebook said they thought the county had chosen wisely. Others suggested students should have spent Tuesday in class.
A sampling of what some locals had to say:
Morgan Welch: “Too many kids are wearing inadequate outerwear and its just too cold. I’m sorry for the people who have to make these decisions based on state standards but safety should be the first and only priority.”
Kerri Rose Pitner: “Two thumbs up from this mom! I don’t want my kids out in that frigid weather waiting on the bus.”
Amanda Whitaker: “I say it’s a good call. Even at 10 am its only calling for 7 degree temps and that is without the windchill.”
Matte Hancock: “I appreciate knowing early enough to make arrangements.”
Jennifer Subleski: “This is winter, people. Are they going to close school until March because of the cold? Be a parent and dress your kids warm and off to school they go. “
Melissa Wilson Curtis: “Yes, the powers that be did make the right choice! I drive a bus in the county and I see how some students dress/ No heavy jackets because they don’t fit in their lockers. And what has happened to gloves and hats? Some kids that ride my bus have to walk to their bus stops and sometimes no matter how hard you try to be on time to pick them up there could be that one car that is on a Sunday drive and you are 2 minutes late. No big deal you say? Well in negative degree’s it can mean a lot! Good call.”
Mary Bayles Harder: “Absolutely! Ranson Elementary is a ‘walking school’ which means they use no buses. With an average of about 400 students in that school, I’d say close to half of them walk to school. Many of their parents don’t even own a vehicle. So I say the school board made the right decision and kept our children’s’ safety their No. 1 priority!”
Brandi Boho: “Nope … horrible call. Let’s just sit at home … waiting for the “perfect” day to send the kids back to school. Shut up, ZIP UP A COAT and get your butts to school!!! This is ridiculous.”
Ginger Braithwaite Gillum: “Wind chills at -5 to -20 is just too cold to be waiting for a bus! A two-hour delay wouldn’t make any difference either…still be just as cold! Good call!”
Denise Staubs Ceravalo: “Absolutely! Keep in mind that not all students have the luxury of having warm coats and parents who drive them to the bus stop…They must get themselves up and walk in the freezing cold temperatures, only to wait for a bus that may be late due to problems starting or breaking down. In addition, there are older school buildings with poor heat. Yes, they made a very responsible decision.”