Tuesday, May 17, 2022



Dear Irate Parent,

Congratulations! You have been selected at random from a larger group of irate parents to be in charge of making weather-related closing decisions for the Howard County School System.

Actually, it wasn’t random. Your online complaints were by far the most accusatory, the most insulting, and the most self-righteous. You were a standout.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • You will be responsible for the safety of the students, teachers, staff, and bus drivers in 78 schools.
  • You will be provided with all the weather information currently available in our area. It won’t all predict the same thing and it will be changing all the time.
  • You will need to keep in mind topographical challenges in different areas of the county.
  • You will need to juggle multiple other concerns, such as school lunch programs, required days of school, testing dates, field trips, sports, and performances.
  • You will be provided with a list of previous closings where your decisions were determined to be wildly incorrect.
All of this will be coming at you like water from a fire hose and you will have very little time to make a decisive pronouncement.

Don’t worry. From your recent social media tirades, it’s clear that you can make these sorts of decisions with one hand tied behind your back. Your self-confidence is remarkable.

A reminder, though. Whatever you choose, people will be angry about it. Your social media account will fill up with outrage and mockery. Your email box, too. Don’t forget voicemail. I bet your phone will be ringing off the hook.

It’s good to keep in mind that a wrong call could put children in the path of harm or death. Don’t let it keep you up at night, though. We’re sure you’ll have this completely under control. Easy-peasy, right? 

One last thing. Climate change is causing weather events like these to occur more frequently and with more intensity. You won’t be able to rely on past common sense knowledge to understand what’s coming next. It’s a whole new ball game in school weather decisions.

Just think - - you’ll be on the cutting edge! Making decisions in real time! Learning to pivot in an instant! Going where no school system has gone before. Rain, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, snow, ice, hail…

Our whole community will be depending on you.

Thanks for stepping up.



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