Monday, January 24, 2005

Severe Cold Weather Destroys Civilization - Children at Peril - Wash. DC 

J. Graham - from the National Review - has discovered some fundamental truths previously hidden from public knowledge about how severe cold weather destroys civilization in Fairfax County:

The low temperature of 12 degrees early Tuesday would have induced sunbathing in parts of Minnesota this week. But, in the D.C. suburbs, 12 degrees is apparently the temperature at which you can fry a public-school official's brain on the sidewalk. So it was announced on Monday night, right after Jack Bauer announced his intention to single-handedly save the world on 24, that any world-saving in Fairfax County would have to begin after 11, when, presumably, the school buses would all agree to start.

The dastardly Fairfax school buses, you see, were offered as the official reason for the delay. They might be hard to start. The buses two miles across the state line, over in Montgomery County, Md., are apparently more compliant and required no such coddling. Montgomery County schools opened on time, even though Maryland, last I checked, is a bit farther north than Virginia, and, presumably, even colder.

Look, don't take my word for this idiocy. This is what was posted on the school district's website:

All Fairfax County public schools will open two hours late on Tuesday, January 18, 2005 due to predicted severe cold temperatures in the morning. School-system buses are stored outside and this delay will give staff members the time needed to have all buses operational.

School buses, stored outside! Who'd have thunk it?

Over in Prince William County, also on a two-hour delay, an official said that if the buses wouldn't start, children might be waiting outside and suffer frostbite. Well, indeed, that would be very sad; everyone cares about children, except for maybe Newt Gingrich. But, temperatures weren't expected to rise much during the day. Indeed, at noon, it was still just 21 degrees, so the world's still not safe from frostbite, despite the best efforts of Prince William County. And no one has addressed the bigger problem, which is this: It's just January. There's more cold coming. How many half days can we sustain without widespread parental revolt?

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