Re: Snow Day

by Jim Geraghty

Jonah, I’d contend the threshold to trigger a Washington-area freak-out about snow gets a bit lower each winter. This winter and last featured not just school closures but federal-government office closures over snowstorms that never came. Earlier this winter I noted . . .

The local departments of transportation have actually gotten good at pre-treating and sanding and salting the roads. The plow crews seem to get out early and do thorough jobs. Businesses remain open. But somehow our local school administrators are more jittery than a Belfast valetas terrified of risk as Walter Peck of the EPA. . . .

Are school administrators driven by a fear of lawsuits? I suppose it only takes one school bus skidding and having an accident to spur endless cries of outrage from parents. And this is the era of the “helicopter parent” and the “risk-averse parent,” worrying about everything.

A Canadian blog called The Contrarian put it, “We expect things to be okay, we see it as an entitlement. And when something does go wrong, we want to blame it on someone. People in administration know this, and they don’t want to be the one blamed.”

Here in Yuppie Acres, we’re on our fourth snow day of the winter, not counting a delayed opening. Total snowfall accumulation before today’s snowstorm: 3.4 inches. You can expect a lengthy rant on Washington weather wimpiness in tomorrow’s Jolt.