OPINION | Barry Richard: Durkin Gets an ‘F’ for Opening Schools
Let's get something clear from the get-go, I am not one of those people who support closing schools for any old thing. Hell, when I was a kid we walked from Brook Street all the way to Normandin when it snowed. Upside down, with no boots and all uphill there and back. They almost never canceled school back then. In grade school, some of us wore bread wrappers on our feet to keep them dry.
In recent years I've seen classes canceled over forecasts of snow that never materialized. Kids have been kept home because it was too cold out. Hmmm. Complain, complain, complain. Kids today have it a lot easier than we did that's for sure.
Of course, back in the day most of us went to grade school in our neighborhoods. We walked. Mom and Dad might give us a ride if there was a hurricane but other than that we were on our own. Most of my time at junior high school I walked until we moved far enough away from the school that they had to send a bus for me. When I reached high school I took the bus until I was old enough to drive my own car.
All kidding aside, things are different today. Young kids walk farther to larger, more centralized schools. More students are bused than ever before and that creates issues of traffic and safety as city crews work to clear the streets. More Moms and Dads drive their tenderloins to class and that adds even more traffic to the mix.
Given the timing of today's storm, the two-hour delay called for by Superintendent Durkin put many kids out in the streets at a most dangerous time. The plows needed to have access to the streets at the same time the buses rolled and kiddos began making their way to class.
I sincerely think kids are better off in school but sometimes getting them there can be a safety risk, and keeping them at home is a better option. Today was one of those days.
Editor's Note: Barry Richard is the afternoon host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from Noon-3pm. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.