Area schools protect children by canceling classes

Published 11:15 am Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Educators in Dallas County gave a cold shoulder to the idea of holding classes Monday and Tuesday.

Bone-chilling temperatures rolled into the Black Belt Sunday and as a result many schools decided to cancel classes.

All public and private schools in Dallas County will remain closed Tuesday.

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Early morning temperatures on Tuesday are forecast to drop into the low teens. The cold temperatures are the lowest our area has seen in decades. Many families aren’t prepared to equip their children in appropriate clothing, much less allow their children to wait at the bus stop. Even 10 minutes in the winter weather, waiting for a bus, could cause hypothermia, if not properly clothed.

Many students in the city school system also choose to walk to school. That walk becomes significantly more dangerous when temperatures reach 16 degrees.

The cold weather could also cause problems with the bus routes for county schools, many of which take multiple hours to complete. If a heater on one of the school buses fails, students are still exposed to the same frigid temperatures during the ride.

Though precipitation has been limited, icy roads are certainly a possibility. One small patch of black ice is all it takes for a school bus to veer into a ditch, potentially causing a loss of life.

Residents of northern states may chuckle at the decision by many Alabama schools to cancel classes, but our city and county aren’t prepared to winterize the roads with salt or sand.

It’s more important to protect the future of Selma and Dallas County than risk a potentially deadly accident.