Students are loving the recent weather patterns; which has sent heavy clouds filled with snow over our North Georgia areas and it was more than enough to close schools in the area. In fact, we got so much snow last Monday, the school systems for most of the northern counties in Georgia, were out for the entire week. I never got this lucky when I was in school, but I was always the one who rooted for snow to come down like this, when I was in school. I would wake up and turn that radio on, just hoping to hear that schools had got closed in my area. Having a snow day is the best thing for a kid growing up. You expect to be going to school and a big snow storm shuts down the schools, and you get to go outside and slide down hills, build snowmen, and have snowball fights with the other neighborhood kids. It just doesn’t get any better than a snow day, for the school kids.
It can sometimes put parents in a bad situation. They may rely on the schools to “babysit” for them, so a school closing can be hard on them. They might have to miss work or make other arrangements, to have someone else watching their school-age children.
Even when flurries were fore-casted for my area, I would still hope in would result in a school closing. It wouldn’t take much to close our schools down in the South. We are not use to dealing with snow and ice on the roadways. It is tough for a school superintendent in my area to allow school, if there is snow on the ground. If just one bus had a accident or some kid drove into a ditch, due to ice being on the road, then the school superintendent would be facing some angry parents. So in most cases, a southern school will get closed down, if there is just a little frozen precipitation on the ground.
Last week, we got about 5 inches of snow in most of the North Georgia areas. We didn’t really see much more snow after that initial day. It was the cold temperatures that hung around all week, that kept the schools from opening up. We would see very little melting in the daytime and during the night time, the snow and water would all freeze back up. This process went on each single day last week and on Thursday, I don’t think the temperature ever did get above freezing, so really no chance for schools to open up on Friday.
Now our roads are pretty much clear and good for cars and buses to run on. We do have a lot of snow left on the ground and in shady areas, where a lot of sunlight does not come in. However, we have a national holiday this Monday and it is MLK Day. The day where we all celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King and all of the things he did for black people, civil rights, and the rights he helped women to get during the 1960’s and later on, after his untimely death in the late 1960’s. Some school boards were considering to let schools open up, but a lot of people got upset, that they would disrespect the holiday like that. I don’t think it was disrespect and I actually think MLK would want school children to go to school on this day, if they have already missed 5 days in a row, like they did last week, due to the winter snows, that fell over much of the the southern states. The MLK Holiday is a time for us to reflect on all the things that Dr. King fought for, during all his adult life on this planet. We take time off from work, so we can pay him the respect he deserves. It would have been just as powerful of a day of remembrance, if we would have attended school Monday and it would have even painted the civil rights leader in a new and positive light. He sent a message for change and how change can be a good thing. We normally take his birthday off, so by allowing the school kids to go back to school on his special day, it would have been another way for us to show how changes can be a good thing. The community here in Atlanta over reacted too quickly and should have spent more time thinking about the kids going to school on Monday, instead of having them to miss a 6th straight day. So did the adults, disrespect the school kids, by not allowing them to return back to school in a proper and orderly fashion, based on the circumstances of the bad weather we been having recently.
If current weather patterns persist and we meet or exceed our average for snow and ice in the weeks leading up until the end of March, we may get the school year in before the 4th of July, but it’s not going to be too shocking, if we see the school year of 2011 extended past the 4th of July holiday. Schools may be done on July 3rd, but some school system may be looking at 1 extra week of school, after the fireworks of July 4th of finish going off. Staty tuned to this long school year and the long, cold winter we are expected to have in the coming months for the Southern USA and in the Peach State of Georgia.