‘Rite Idea: Cold Temperatures Spark Heated Debate

Despite negative windchill, most Northeast Ohio schools closed unecessarily

District personnel cleared sidewalks before school this morning.

Audie Lorenzo

District personnel cleared sidewalks before school this morning.

On a dangerously cold weekday, Shaker community is upset over school’s refusal to close its doors. The public’s frustration, though a bit unnecessary, is understandable.

Despite brutal cold that prompted closings in the past years, Shaker schools are notoriously stubborn against snow days. In the past, temperatures had to be unbearably low, or road conditions had to be life threatening, in order for Shaker to send out their robocall telling students and staff to stay home. Schools used to be allowed only 5 snow days per year, so weather-related days off were a rare gem for the community. After the snow day policies changed to be a maximum number of snow hours for schools to close per year, the public expected Shaker to be more generous with their days off. Today proved the community wrong as Shaker sat by, watching as surrounding schools protected their students against the winter’s wrath, hoping the same for Shaker’s students. Shaker high schoolers crossed their fingers for a five-day weekend, then reluctantly trudged through the Cleveland tundra to get to class in the morning.

Cleveland Heights and Shaker schools could perhaps be considered stronger than the surrounding city schools for keeping their doors wide open in below zero windchills. Optimists consider the closed schools weak for notwithstanding the cold. However, the community and students’ complaints should not be taken with a grain of salt. While the tough Shaker citizens don’t appreciate their fellow whining community members, there are genuine concerns for students’ safety that should not go unnoticed.

Driving to school this morning was hazardous in some areas and spitshine in others, so the road conditions are debateable. The sidewalks are also concerning, and hundreds of Shaker students are more than likely unequipped to hike through feet of snow.

Though the temperatures are not the lowest on record for this time of year, the windchill still drops them below zero degrees Fahrenheit.

Even so, it is still hard to tell if the complaints are valid safety concerns or students’ refusal to close Netflix, get out of bed and lug their backpacks through the snow.

One of the high school’s major flaws is its lack of provided transportation.  The absence of buses warrants a large population of student walkers.  These students, who are forced to trudge through mile-high piles of snow and frigid winds, are susceptible to frostbite and other safety hazards.

Students can complain about the disappointment of attending school on glacial mornings but the reality is that compared to past weather conditions, this day warranted no cancellation.

Although Shaker’s open doors cause upset students and unfair situations, the definition of “unfair” has changed from previous years.  If other schools in close proximity to Shaker Heights are closed on account of the weather, than Shaker should be closed as well, but the reality is that no schools deserved a cancellation on this average Cleveland winter’s day.

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