I am delighted (and more than a little bit relieved) that my son’s school is open again today – hooray! We did have a brief respite from the onset of cabin fever on Monday but when the school closed again yesterday I really did start to wonder whether I should just give up all hope of getting any Christmas shopping done and start making another batch of biscuits with the kids!
I may be in danger of sounding completely ancient, but I don’t seem to remember school closing as often when I was a child. I lived in a small, rural community where we always got the worst of any bad weather and there literally had to be 10ft snowdrifts and Eskimos moving in before the schools closed. Now it seems that the slightest bit of adverse weather brings everything to a halt – and I’m not entirely sure why.
Often the reason given for the school closures is ‘Health & Safety’. Does this mean that the schools are closing, not because the staff and pupils have absolutely no way of getting there or that the heating isn’t working, but that there is an underlying concern that if someone falls and hurts themselves, there will be legal implications? Is it the litigious society we live in which forces the closures, rather than on practical grounds?
Of course, having a few extra days to build snowmen and go sledging is great fun for the kids (and parents – I’d forgotten how much fun sledging is!), I wonder what impact the closures are having on our children’s education, particularly those who are at junior cert and leaving cert stages.
Of course nobody can prevent the snow and artic conditions, and I’m sure everybody would prefer to continue with business as usual, but do you think the schools could or should do more to stay open or do you agree that the closures are necessary?
It’s an interesting debate and one which, judging by the predictions for further snowfall and freezing temperatures, will continue all through the winter.