Canadian winters are typically brutal, but as a nation, we’ve learned to adapt. However, in cases of serious blizzards, ice storms and other severe weather conditions, schools and businesses often take the step of shutting their doors, putting safety before productivity.
Is this the right thing to do? Parents in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, thought so when a winter storm hit the region this week and several schools remained open. However, south of the border, President Barack Obama expressed disbelief last week when classes at his daughters’ school were cancelled over "some ice". Overseas, the Federation of Small Businesses said the cost to Britain’s economy through lost productivity following a freak snowstorm in London could be as high as three billion pounds.
Parents angry that schools not closing during dangerous weather
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Blizzard of anger follows London snowstorm; could cost economy billions
In my city, which regularly gets severe winter weather, the schools remain open with a limited staff if there is a blizzard or extreme wind chills. My school division says it’s safer that way because if the school is closed and locked, and a student’s family didn’t get the message that the school is not going to open, that student is likely going to be left out in the storm with no one around to help him or her.
The buses don’t run if there is a blizzard, or the air temperature or wind chill factor is -45 degrees Celsius or below, and the parents of the students have the permission to keep their kids home from school in those conditions. And at my old elementary school, rural students are assigned a billet family that lives in the community. That family can bring the student to their closer home if the bus is unable to.Microsoft Office 2010
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