Sunday night, before heading out to dinner, my wife asked me to Tweet about Monday’s school closings. She was pretty annoyed, as were a number of people on our elementary school mailing list. So I sent out this:
— Chuck Tanowitz (@ctanowitz) February 10, 2013
The results came back pretty fast, with most people wondering the same thing. The roads, while narrow, were relatively clear. Yes, the sidewalks still needed work, but they were OK. Did the kids really need a second day off?
The Newton Patch did a little calling and the city said that the sidewalks were the issue. Kids who walked the school simply couldn’t move safely. And that makes complete sense. In fact, that played out in the comments section of the article with most people agreeing with the school’s decision.
But today is Thursday and the first day I had a chance to walk my children to school. Rather than sticking to some of the back streets as we normally do, I chose to take them up Waltham Street, assuming that the sidewalks on this main thorofare would be clear. But they weren’t! Not all of them anyway. Many residents simply hadn’t done theirs. Others left their snow mounds right in the path of the sidewalk for my kids to climb over. Now, before you pull out the “old and infirm” argument please note that their own walkways and driveways were perfectly clear. Meaning, even if people couldn’t do the work themselves, they found others to do it, just not all of it.
Which begs the question: if the goal of the extra snow day was to clear out sidewalks, and on Thursday, even after some very warm temperatures, the children still need to walk on the road, did it make sense to close the schools?