Monday, February 13, 2017

What's With The Two-Hour Delay?

I hate to sound like one of those guys that talks about how much harder everything was in the old days. But I would like to know who is responsible for the proliferation of perhaps the most useless contingency development ever devised, the two-hour school delay. I graduated high school in 1981, which, I will grant you, was half a lifetime ago (an equivalent distance in time away from my graduation year was 1945, which not only seems, but was a long time ago). But I can remember one--one--time in the entire time I was in school that Union-Endicott called a two-hour delay. One-hour delays, I remember plenty of, but one time, there was a two-hour delay.
And I fervently wish that the former reluctance to use the two-hour delay would return to various school districts. For one, it is very inconvenient for working parents that drive their children to school to have to either delay their own departure for their job by two hours, or to return home after arriving at work to get the kid to school. I realize that parent convenience is somewhere below "mowing the courtyard grass in January" as a priority for every school district in the world these days, but that doesn't make it right. But that aside, what's the point of having class for 25 minutes or even less? Most schools attempt to keep a full schedule on two-hour delay days, and all my children have told me that the length of the classes on those days is a joke--you barely have sat down before you have to be on the move again, and nothing of substance or import is ever imparted on such days.
And three, if the cause of the delay is snow, chances are that the roads and sidewalks (it simply amazes me that kids that walk to school are never taken into account by districts, and Binghamton has approximately half of its kids that don't live in busing zones) aren't appreciably better at 9:30 AM (or 10:30, for the middle schoolers) than they were two hours earlier. The only-time two hour delays make sense to me is if the weather-related concern is ice, and the temperature is forecast to rise above freezing as the morning progresses. This actually happened last week, and a two-hour delay made perfect sense.
It makes none this morning. We had a major sleet/snow, freezing rain event yesterday (what my mother calls a "shittenmess"), and the city, yesterday being Sunday, didn't attack the roads in force-not to mention, since there was no mail, a lot of sidewalks weren't cleared (although far too many people don't walk on the sidewalk anyway, but that's another post). The temperature went below freezing again shortly after dark last night, and now we have an inch or so of snow on top of a glaze of ice on most surfaces. I walked the dog this morning and both he and I nearly fell on our ass twice each. I doubt it's going to be much better by 9:30 AM. Just call school off already and accept that the kids are going to be in school another day or two in June.

No comments: