When I taught in Pennsylvania in the ‘60s, we might have a snow day declared if none of the busses could get thru, but I can’t remember school-closings called on account of below-zero temperatures. Here in Madison in the '70, I can’t recall schools being called off for even extreme cold. In fact, I can remember a few winters when school would have had to be shut down for weeks at a time or a month if below-zero temps had been grounds for closing.
But nowadays we have gotten used to the warmth of milder winters most likely due to global warming. So when we get a real cold spell, as we’re now experiencing, schools either shut down or open late. The reason given is to protect kids from frostbite, which they can supposedly easily get from exposure to the elements. I don’t remember any incidents of that sort when we had extreme cold all February. Haven’t today's children heard of heavy coats, scarves, gloves and mittens, and boots?
What really aggravated me today was a letter in the local papers maintaining that the voc-ed schools and the university should have closed. College kids, claimed the writer, are still at an immature age where the girls dress for fashion and the boys don’t think enough about what they wear. Well, I say, if they’re in college and can vote or go into the military, they ought to have enough smarts to dress for the weather. If they don’t, let them get freezing cold or even frostbitten til they acquire some common sense. Neither global warming nor concern for young people’s immaturity is reason to shut down higher ed due to freezing weather.
Time to stop coddling, people!