The Washington Post

Win if you do, win if you don’t: De Blasio keeps school open despite snow.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (REUTERS/Craig Ruttle). New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (REUTERS/Craig Ruttle).

In the world of win if you do, win if you don’t, there’s Mayor Bill de Blasio. He’s at the top of that world right now. The mayor announced school would go on despite the foot-high snowfall, and now he’s paying for it. People (including Al Roker, who is in warm, sunny Sochi) blasted him on Twitter. There’s an editorial or two decrying his decision. The unions are upset.

And I can only imagine what those teens are thinking as they plod through geometry right now. (Well, those who actually showed up.)

But he’s got a point. And his point is this: “We were convinced that kids could get to school this morning and we always emphasize in making these decisions, when you think about 1.1 million kids, so many families depend on their schools as a place for their kids to be during the day, a safe place, a place where they’re not only taught but get nutrition and they are safe from the elements,” he said.

School is a safe place where kids can eat.

Let’s think about that for a moment as we whine about another snow day (but would whine if school hadn’t been cancelled). Sure, the school as a safety net doesn’t factor in to each of those 1.1 million kids’ lives. But school is a safety net for many, as Petula Dvorak once pointed out.

Parents who are working hourly jobs and don’t get time off — let alone paid time off — have to work. Where do the kids go? School. And if school isn’t there, then there’s that seemingly small little problem that can eventually lead to unspeakable problems for the many working poor families.

So enjoy your snow day. At least you don’t live in New York City. Then again, maybe you wish you did.


Amy Joyce is the editor and a writer for On Parenting.



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Amy Joyce · February 13, 2014