Unseasonable cold weather in Tulsa, Okla., highlights the safety conundrums schools face in winter (with video)

Unseasonable cold weather in Tulsa, Okla., highlights the safety conundrums schools face in winter (with video)

Record cold weather has forced schools around the country to close due, but the weather has caused other problems, including determining whether or not to close schools because of delayed buses. In Tulsa some buses had trouble starting this morning due to the record cold temperatures, which resulted in students being literally left out in the cold for extended periods, FOX23 News reported.

Some schools in the Tulsa area canceled classes Monday because of the snow, while others including those in Green Country were relieved that did not have to use any valuable snow days. However, the safety of children on buses who were out in the elements is the most important issue, school leaders told FOX23. Union officials must consider a number of factors when deciding whether or not to close schools.
“It’s not an easy decision to make,” Kirt Hartzler, Ph.D., the Union Public Schools superintendent, told Fox23.
 “You end up making some people very happy and others, not so much,” he said.
 

In determining whether or not to close schools, the safety of the students and staff should be the first priority, according to Hartzler. School leaders should assess the amount of snow or ice, but should also pay attention to the neighborhoods.

“Even though sometimes the main streets might look clear, and it looks like it’s easy to get around in, if the neighborhoods are not in good shape, we are probably going to go ahead and cancel school,” Hartzler said.

School officials should also consider the wind chill factor when assessing whether or not to cancel schools and consider how long a child might have to stand outside in very cold conditions waiting for a school bus that may be delayed as a result of weather challenges.

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