OPINION: Why My Wife and I Did Not Send Our Kids to School Today
I'm not gonna mince words. I was extremely upset with what happened on Wednesday and Thursday regarding the Natrona County School District and their decisions on opening and then closing schools.
Before I say what's on my mind, I want to share the Natrona County School District policy for inclement weather. If you haven't already, please read it so you can more fully understand their stance. Here's part of their #1 on the list for what would need to happen for them to fully close school for the day:
Full Closure – All schools, departments, and program will not open for the full school day. This decision is made when current and future weather conditions are extremely hazardous and are not expected to improve throughout the day.
Here's my problem with what went down on Wednesday. The normal school district procedure as they've stated on Facebook was that parents would be notified by 5:30 am by text what their decision would be. On Wednesday, the original statement was that schools would be open. I was actually on the road during the 5 am hour on Wednesday and I felt like that decision was not correct, but accepted it for what it was.
After thinking about it for maybe 5 minutes, I messaged my wife to keep my kids at home no matter what the school district said. My kids have to deal with walking a significant distance to bus stops and school and I didn't believe it was anywhere close to being worth the risk.
A little after 6 am, one of my colleagues alerted me that the school district had changed it's mind and now schools would be closed. What?! Imagine if you're a parent that got the first message around 5:30, but didn't hear the change of mind after 6? Not good Natrona County School District.
Let's all collectively take a deep breath and give credit where credit is due. I believe it was the right decision for the school district to change its mind. In my opinion, it takes a lot of guts to admit your original decision was wrong and do the right thing. Kudos.
When the school district announced this morning that schools would reopen, I again told my wife to keep our kids home for the same reason as I stated before about Wednesday's storm. When some kids will not have bus access, how can you hold it against them when they can't find a way to school? I'm at work and have our family's only vehicle, so driving them was not an option.
To be fair, it's important to state the the Natrona County School District does not have an easy job when deciding whether or not to call a school day. It's a sad fact that many students cannot count on a meal at home if school is not in session. That's the exact reason why the Wyoming Food for Thought Spring Break Food Drive is happening this Saturday around Casper. If they cancel school, they are aware that some kids will not eat. Terrible, but true.
As livid as I was about how the school district handled Wednesday, I appreciate the fact that their decision is not an easy one. It's just a simple fact that my wife and I disagreed with what they did and did what we believe was right. If you're a parent, you have that right also.