Differing Opinions: How Cold Is Too Cold?

On January 8, 2015, some school districts, such as Boston and Brockton, canceled school due to extremely low temperatures. According to The Boston Globe, the overnight temperature in Boston dropped to one below zero and the windchill made it feel like twenty below.

With students in Braintree attending school like any other, four members of the BHS News staff debated the merits of attending school in these conditions

by Emma Marino
Class of 2016

I don’t think we should have school today. The weather was excruciatingly cold. Not only that, but this school is already freezing. All the classrooms with “heat,” are barely warm. So it’s already ten times colder. The risk of kids being outside, getting sick, or getting hurt by slipping on ice isn’t worth it.

I don’t think it’s too fair for the kids that have to walk to bus stops, or worse have to walk to school. It was arctic cold this morning; I could only imagine what walking in it was like. Not everyone is able to take a bus, or get a ride to school everyday. So walking is their only choice, besides staying home. It would have just made everyone a little more comfortable if Braintree had just decided to cancel school.

by Elizabeth Jarrins
Class of 2016

I believe that if the temperature is below ten degrees then Braintree High School should close until the temperature goes up. If said temperature does not go up in two or three days, the should should open with quicker bus schedules and maybe a delay or early release. Some families don’t have enough money or even time to get a decent coat for their child. The school should take that into account and not just expect that everyone has a big, fluffy coat or a North Face jacket. It was freezing today and the temperature this morning was two degrees. If there was no today it would have been better for the health of the children, so they could have stayed home, snuggled up, maybe watched some television, and maybe even study for when school starts back up. No kid with common sense would hang out with their friends or do anything outside. Even though the kids may think that’s it’s just another day off if the school closes, at least they are safer in their homes with their heat blasting and not getting sick.

BHS opens around 6:00, and this morning it was two degrees and windy out. The students that attend BHS have a higher risk of getting a cold. I am sure many kids skipped school or stayed home, and I am sure this will cause a nasty habit of just staying home when they don’t agree with the weather. To avoid that attendance situation, I think that BHS should have closed today. I’m speaking for the students of Braintree High when I say that school should consider us; we are shivering in classrooms and getting sick. BHS should be more mindful of the students attending school.

by Harry Gill
Class of 2015

School in Braintree should not have been, and ultimately was not cancelled on January 8, 2015 due to the chilling temperatures, and wind chills which made it feel about twenty degrees below zero.

The only reason school should be cancelled because of the weather is if the weather makes it impossible or dangerous for many students to go to school, such as a severe snow storm which would make driving hazardous or roads impassable. Temperatures of negative three degrees are not dangerous unless people are out for long periods of time without being adequately covered up. Waiting ten minutes at the bus stop is not dangerous, as it takes twice that time for frostbite to begin.

The only reason that extreme low temperatures should cause cancellation is if actual air temperatures (not wind chill) are around fifteen degrees below zero, as temperatures this low can cause hydraulic fluid and diesel fuel in the buses to become unusable. If buses aren’t running, most students could not be expected to get to school.

Missing school due to the low temperature on January 8 is the same as missing school simply because you don’t feel like going. There is no excuse for it. This is not the first time it’s been cold in Braintree, and it won’t be the last. If school was cancelled for one day where it was negative three degrees and there was wind, that would set the precedent for canceling it when people thought it was too cold, instead of only when there was an actual reason to.

Braintree High School has a heating system, but no air conditioning. Unnecessary cancellations of school in the winter lead to more days having to be made up in the summer, when temperatures inside the building are horrific on the hottest days of June. Though it is on some occasions necessary, there was no need to cancel school on January 8th, because the temperature did not hinder students from getting to school, nor did they create any danger in their attempting to do so.

by Mr. Dahlbeck
BHS News Advisor

It’s cold out. And, as a bald man, I think I have it worse than most students reading this. However, I am glad to be sitting in room 131 this morning. Quite frankly, I would rather be here today than on June 19 with the sun shining, the birds chirping, and green grass outside my classroom window.

Braintree is not Boston. Most BHS students either take the bus or get a ride from friends or family. And, although Braintree is only 13.75 square miles (according to the United States Census), there seems to be approximately 1,000 school buses on the streets (trust me, I get stuck behind them every day). No one is waiting outside for very long, except for the rare student that actually does have to walk. And, while I do feel bad for them, claiming we should cancel school because of them makes no sense. What about when it rains? Snows? Sleets?

No one liked the cold. But you know what I like even less than the cold? Being in school during the beautiful weather of June.

What do you think? Should we have had school today?