Scenario #1: Their parents wake them and say, “You’ve had a two-hour delay; time to get up now,” and they go, “Wow! I just got two more hours of sleep! Bonus!”
Scenario #2: Their phone buzzes with the notification from the school district that there’s a two-hour delay. They quietly whisper Yes! — then promptly go back to sleep.
As you might guess, neither of those dreams come true in this house. Once I’m up at 4:30, I’m up for the day. None of this going-back-to-bed nonsense. Therefore, two-hour delays need to either 1) not happen, or 2) turn into cancellations so I can stay in my jammies and work from home. (At least I get to have a leisurely breakfast and an extra coffee. I’ll go do that now. BRB.)
I do understand why they always start with delays. Really, I get it. It is easier to see “black ice” in the daylight, and many of the back roads in the rural community where I teach go unsalted and unplowed until the last minute. The school whiners always surface on days like this, too:
“In my day, we went to school no matter how bad the roads were!”
“What’s up with those sissies? It’s just -20 outside. Get to school and go into the building and get warm.”
“Why are they always delaying schools? Don’t those bus drivers know how to drive?”
I’ve heard them all (and more), trust me. It’s not really about any of those issues, in my opinion. It’s more about living in an extremely litigious society, where officials accused of disregarding anybody’s safety — that of students or staff — can face a tremendously difficult legal battle if something unfortunate should happen. That, and hello: just err on the side of caution where kids are concerned. Call us sissies; I care not. Getting to school by 7:20 a.m. is important, I know. Getting there no matter the cost, especially when there are now record numbers of student drivers, is not earth-shatteringly crucial. Thus saith the Fink this day.
But delays? As a former principal of mine used to say: “Not a fan.”
Not a fan.