A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Weather Conditions affecting students

It’s official winter season and that means waking up to see if weather conditions are affecting schools daily routines or not. In Prince George’s County website it says “The decision to delay or close schools is not taken lightly”, does this mean they rather keep schools open rather than closing them?

Last month November, all weather stations were saying that a mixture of snow and rain. This resulted in many counties closing or delaying their schools, but Prince George’s County operated on a normal schedule.

“They definitely should have cancelled schools or at least had a two-hour delay because it’s not fair to the kids who don’t have a bus to ride,” said Junior, Portia Adams.

At first, the weather wasn’t so bad, just cold and light icy rain, but as the day went on the weather conditions got worse. The snowfall increased and so did the icy rain which resulted in school grounds becoming slippery.

It isn’t just snowfall, but it’s also rain that affects students, especially those who walk.

“On the bridge, before you get to Parkdale, here’s been a really big puddle of water and cars drive through it really fast without caring about the kids. Some of them end up getting all wet.” Said Adams.

Princes George’s County needs to consider those students who walk to and from school. Students walking up and down hills can cause a serious accident. Just like black ice can affect cars, it can affect students as well causing them to slip. Rain can also cause a student to slip and fall. I witnessed a girl fall from the bus stairs because they were slippery due to rain. I, myself almost fell due to school floors being wet.

“I don’t like rain because I get soaked. You step in puddles and your shoes get messed up,” said Junior, Promise Maidoh

Another thing PGCPS needs to consider is that some bus stops are bad and get even worse when it is raining or snowing.

“When I leave my house to start walking there’s this hill and there’s always ice,” said Adams.

”Sometimes people will try to avoid it, but there’s ice on the streets too.”

In PGCPS website it says “It is our long-standing practice to remain open as long as roads are safe, open and passable, and predicted to remain so.” Even if roads are safe this doesn’t mean sidewalks or temps are safe for students to be in. Sometimes the school itself isn’t safe or even warm enough for students. Especially with the policy that students can’t wear hoodies. This just makes it even worse.

With the Winter season just starting it’s important to stay alert and know what’s going on in your county. Here are some ways to stay alert in PGCPS: