Closures due to the cold may be unpopular but right

The closure of schools throughout the region Thursday marked the ninth such event so far this school year, by far the most in recent memory. As has been the case several times this season, the reason for the closure wasn’t blowing and drifting snow, poor visibility or road conditions.

The closures came Thursday – as they have a few times this year – simply because of the bitter cold.

With temperatures at minus 15 and colder accompanied by wind chills in excess of minus 30, school officials could not dare expose youngsters to those conditions.

The closures, no doubt, immediately ignited discussions which began “In my day we didn’t close school because it was cold …”

We’re convinced the closures are not about children being any more or less “tough” than their parents or grandparents.

If anything has changed since the “old days,” it’s a greater understanding of the health risks associated with exposure to extreme cold by youngsters.

Now, for the students, those extra “days off” will have to be made up. With at least a month of winter weather left, some school districts will be forced to add an additional week to the calendar if they haven’t done so already.

We applaud the action by school personnel to make what will certainly be viewed by some as unpopular decisions. Choosing child welfare over convenience may not always be a popular choice … but it is always the right one.