Late Start Calls Made Too Late to Ensure Safety

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by Anna Hartman – Student Life Editor

Late starts. Every student wakes up on a cold, winter’s morning and hopes to be blessed with one of these glorious, four-hour school days, however, the poorly handled icy morning on January 9, left many students upset.
On that morning, the roads were wet and frozen over, and made for very dangerous walking and driving conditions. However, the district wasn’t aware of the conditions right away and didn’t make the call for late start until after 7:00 AM, after the busses had left the lot with kids on board. Many of the teachers had already arrived at school.
This meant that most students and teachers ended up at the school almost two hours early, and the faculty had to scramble in an attempt to get the kids in line and sort everything out by moving the kids into their homeroom classes and trying to keep kids from leaving.
Though mistakes at the district level are understandable, it not excusable that kids drove or walked to school in these conditions. Once at school, many students and teachers had stories to tell of their slippery drives in an attempt to arrive on time.
Sophomore Serena Carney fractured her arm on her walk to school from the Kentlake Highlands, slipping on the sidewalk on her way to school.
Carney said, “I feel like the school should have just cancelled school or put more precaution into what the students would go through with the ice, because they did not really consider the affects that the ice would have on the students.”
Despite this, Carney said, “I don’t blame the school, but I do feel like the school could have prevented it. I feel like the school could have done stuff to help the students be safer. I feel like that is their job, but at the same time, I could have been more careful.”
In addition to the concern and injury caused, the faculty was unprepared on how to deal with the late start. They made an attempt to keep kids contained in their homeroom classes, however, many either left or did not have an open homeroom classroom, leaving the whole situation a disorganized mess.
To add to the chaos, the school’s heater broke, leaving the students and teachers in the cold, some classes reaching temperatures below 50 degrees. To be fair, this was not a human error, however, it made the experience much more miserable for everyone involved.
That evening, though, the district issued a two-hour delay due to icy conditions for the next day at about 9:00 PM, possibly due to the complaints received from everyone about the day.
The district should have been more on top of the cancellations in order to prevent student injury and inconvenience for everyone involved. What about saying they HAVE to make the call before people have already left their houses.

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