Please don’t count me among the ones piling on local and state officials over this snow fiasco. I think that everyone probably did their best, and in such terrible conditions, that’s all anyone can reasonably expect. No one can drive on ice, and that is a fact whether you are from Atlanta or Alaska.
What did we learn? The Cobb School Superintendent was quoted in the MDJ as saying that if he went through this snow event again, he would do it all the same. That just isn’t acceptable.
We need to insist on a more conservative approach from all our leaders that recognizes that a “winter storm warning” is not something to be taken lightly. There needs to be a clear and well understood policy that says that when the National Weather Service declares a “winter storm warning” for Cobb, the public school systems are closed, immediately.
For our state legislators, this is something that you can do that will create positive change. If this common sense rule could become codified into state law across all affected counties and school districts, that would be a rule that we all can live with. I bet that the governor will have no problem signing it in short order. That way, no judgment is required and no one can make a judgment error — we all simply follow common sense rules and err on the side of safety.
If parents had awoken on Tuesday morning to news that a “winter storm warning” had been declared and the schools were closed, I believe that things would have been much different over these past few days. We would have still had the ice and snow, but we wouldn’t have kids stuck in schools and school buses stuck on icy roads. A lot of people would think twice about going into the teeth of the storm when the schools are out, and that will reduce the numbers on the roads. An important message will also be given to business and the greater community, and I think more of our neighbors would just stay at home.
This will not solve all of last week’s icy adventures. There will still be those of us that feel we simply must commute, and those “road warriors” will no doubt end up in the next snow jam.
We live in a free society, and that means we are free to get stuck sometimes. But I think we have to do something different, right?