Letter: Unsure why school was not cancelled due to cold

By on December 17, 2009

Negative twenty degrees. That’s cold, no matter who you are, and it seems even colder when you’re outside waiting for that yellow bus to take you to school.

On Dec. 10, that’s exactly what Kaneland students had to deal with. The air was cold itself, but when that wind blew; it made you really think why we had school.

And why should we? I know that the school says that at 40° below zero is when they can cancel school, but isn’t that just a little too cold?

The students at my bus stop were outside with me that day, waiting to get out of the frigid air. There were moans and groans, but those were drowned out by the sound of teeth chattering uncontrollably. To make matters worse, the buses were late because they were driving slow and cautiously because of the bad road conditions. The main roads, like Route 47 and Keslinger, may have not looked bad, but back roads, like Harter and Watson, were badly plowed and made driving harder than they were already. Some streets in subdivisions hadn’t even been plowed that morning.

It also had to be hard on the bus drivers that are capable of getting kids to school safely in that type of weather. My bus driver rarely looked back at us to see what we were doing, because he was too preoccupied in keeping his eyes on the road. He ended up getting us to school safely, but other people didn’t get where they needed to be quite as safely as we did. I remembered seeing at least two cars stuck in snow or in a ditch, and I heard over the radios that the bus drivers use that there was an accident on Route 47, and that it looked bad.

So that brings me back to the main question in my article, why was school in session? At 20° below zero, liquids can freeze over very quickly. Ice covered my driveway, my sidewalk and my road, and I’m certain that other roads were just the same. The ice made driving conditions very dangerous, and it was just flat out freezing out there. I also wonder whether our school sends teachers out to drive to test the roads to make sure that they aren’t dangerous, because if they do, I really want to know what they thought of the roads that morning.

I guess I just really want to know why. Why did we have school that day? Why were we made to wait for our bus in sub-zero temperature?

But who knows. Maybe, to our district employees who make the decisions, it wasn’t that bad out. Maybe everything the students say are merely exaggerations. I don’t think that those are true, and neither will the other students that had to wait outside for their buses.

Ryan Noel
Kaneland High School student
Sugar Grove

4 Comments

  1. GIJOE

    December 18, 2009 at 1:12 PM

    RYAN,

    JUST GO TO SCHOOL AND QUIT WHINING!
    YOUR OFF ENOUGH THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, THE COLD WILL NOT KILL YOU IF YOU DRESS FOR THE WEATHER.
    DRESS WARM AND GO TO SCHOOL.
    WHEN I WAS A KID, WE WENT ALL THE TIME, DID NOT HAVE ALL THE DAYS OFF YOU HAVE NOW.
    WE WHERE ALLOT TOUGHER THAN KIDS TODAY, WE DID WHAT WE WHERE TOLD TO DO, WE ACCECPTED THINGS FOR WHAT THEY WHERE.
    AND WE WENT TO SCHOOL BECAUSE IT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.
    I CAN RECALL FREEZING MY REAR END OFF WHILE WALKING TO SCHOOL OVER A MILE, SO THE NEXT TIME THE WEATHER WAS WELL BELOW ZERO, I LEARNED TO BE PREPARED FOR IT, AND STAYED WARM.
    BE RESPONSABLE FOR YOURSELF, AND DON’T WORRY ABOUT HOW YOU MAY LOOK TO OTHERS ALL DRESSED FOR THE WEATHER AT LEAST YOU WILL BE WARM.
    LEAD BY EXAMPLE!
    GO TO SCHOOL, LEARN SOMETHING!
    WE ALREADY KNOW HOW COLD IT CAN GET AND HOW BAD THE ROADS GET.
    DON’T NEED TO KNOW ALL THIS.
    PAY ATTENTION, DRIVE SAFE, TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF YOUR NOT A BABY.
    REMEMBER THIS, ALL THE GUYS WHO SERVED THIS COUNTRY ENDURED HARSH WEATHER CONDITIONS DAILY OF ALL TYPES, FROM REALLY HOT TO WELL BELOW ZERO BUT TOUGHED IT OUT AND DID WHAT THEY WHERE SUPPOSE TO AND SURVIVED BECAUSE THEY LEARNED TO DRESS FOR CONDITIONS THEY WHERE SUBJECTED TO.
    BE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOURSELF, NOW GET TO CLASS.
    LATER!
    GIJOE

  2. Mary Kenkel

    December 21, 2009 at 9:48 AM

    Ryan,

    I feel your pain. Waiting out at the bus stop in 20-below-zero weather is tough. On days like that, Kaneland should think about the students waiting outside in unhealthily cold temperatures.

    But more than agreeing with you, I’d like to commend you for writing your thoughts to the newspaper. It’s great to see you, as a high school student, taking the time to share your opinions to make a difference for yourself and your fellow students. Good job.

    And GIJOE, I’m sure you walked to school uphill both ways, too. And the kids back then were much better behaved than today’s hooligans. Please don’t chastise a high school student because he wrote to the local newspaper that he doesn’t want to wait outside in 20-below-zero weather. And please don’t make broad generalizations about younger generations. Whether or not you agree, there are plenty of good “hoodlems,” too.

  3. KJM

    December 21, 2009 at 11:02 AM

    While I cannot agree with GIJOE’s method of delivery, I have to admit that I agree with him. People went to work despite the cold on this day. Ryan, school is your job. If you had been an employed adult on this day, your employer would still expect you to go to work. You need to suck it up and realize that this is life. There will be cold days.
    Bundle up, be prepared. Rather than complain about how cold it was, come up with an action plan for next time. Perhaps create a carpool action plan with your fellow students and your/their parents if everyone is so worried about temps such as these? It is possible to stand outside and wait for the bus during temps like these. My husband worked outside all day that day…he survived…and he is a skinny man without much padding on him…why couldn’t you muster up enough strength to last less than an hour?
    Mary Kenkel would have us believe that GIJOE is chastizing you for your age and thinks that you are a hooligan in order to write what he wrote. I’m not much older than you, but I agree with him. When I was growing up, I lived on a farm with a mile long drive way on a road that was rarely plowed. Unless we ended up in a ditch, we made it to school. Mother Nature is not going to relent for school…I’ve gone to school through all sorts of weather and I did it to get an education and make something of myself….so man up and accept your responsibility as a student. Go to school and get an education….rain or shine.
    While I commend you for writing your viewpoint – couldn’t you have offered solutions rather than whining and requesting for class to be cancelled? THAT would have been a learning experience in and of itself. Because trust me, kid…when you get into the workforce…your employer WON’T CARE that the weather was bad…they WON’T CARE about your complaints…UNLESS you can offer solutions. What are you going to do? Quit work because they don’t cater to you? Call in sick every time the weather is bad? Good luck in the unemployment line.

  4. GIJOE

    December 22, 2009 at 12:42 PM

    Mary,
    no, I did not walk up hill both ways, on the way home it was up hill.
    I am not picking on this kid, just wanted to make a point!
    Being responsable starts now!
    No one is going to hold his hand and dress him his whole life.
    When he has to work for a living there will be no reason not to go to work, so may want to get used to it now.
    Thats all I’m saying, am not picking on him.
    Only the strong survive, be a leader, not a follower, you will get ahead in this world by doing so.
    have a great day!
    GIJOE