Editorial: School open during extreme weather

It is more than clear that the school administration’s job should be to protect its students.  And for the most part, they have succeeded.  There is proper equipment supplied to athletes.  The new security checkpoint on Campus Drive, and the new scanner system at the entrance to the school has eased minds against the horrific prospect of a school shooting.

Thus, The Schreiber Times was surprised and disappointed with the way the district handled the polar vortex that recently hit the East Coast.

On Jan. 7, temperatures reached as low as four degrees with the wind chill below zero.  Students and parents alike protested the district’s decision to keep the school open during the frigid weather conditions.

On that day, New York State Governor, Andrew Cuomo, declared a state of emergency and advised people to avoid travel, to exercise caution, and to stay indoors.

Considering the district is given extra days for such occasions, The Schreiber Times believes it was reckless for the district to open the school under such conditions.

Although Schreiber did take steps to safeguard students from waiting outside for their buses, it did not take into consideration those who had no means of transportation home.

Students who live less than a mile and a fourth from the school do not have a bus.  These students usually ask their parents or friends to drive them or walk home.

Students who normally walk to and from school were forced to do so under extreme weather conditions.

In addition, the school’s faculty members had to make their way farther distances than students in order to reach the school. The strong winds and icy conditions on Jan. 7 put Schreiber staff members at risk as well.

In the case of Winter Storm Janus, students would obviously be in danger.  There were 11.5 inches of snow in Port Washington in addition to low temperatures that could increase the chance of ice.  The decision to cancel school was more obvious.

The Schreiber Times recognizes that the school district is limited by the number of snow days granted to students due to New York State requirements.

The school district administration was clearly correct to grant students a snow day during Winter Storm Janus.  However, this limited number does not mean that students should be placed in uncomfortable or dangerous situations as they were on Jan. 7.

The Schreiber Times believes that the school district must analyze situations more critically, making sure that students are safe at all times.