From the Comments: Anger Over Weather-Related School Closing
Canton and Plymouth Patch readers have a lot to say about Plymouth-Canton school officials' decision.
A reader posting under the name "the dude" asked "Can someone explain to me why school is closed today? Its 35 degrees, raining, and every other public school in Wayne Co is open. Does the district realize parents only have so many days they can take off work to cover no school days? ... "
Another poster, Kit, offered this defense: "The schools were closed today due to ice. The district has to consider many factors when deciding whether or not to close schools. The ability for school busses to maneuver without getting into an accident or tipping over are among the factors. I believe at this point, if there is one more snow day....we might be subtracting from the summer vacation. Enjoy the day off! :)"
But "the dude" returned and complained, "What ice? Ice did not close any other public school. PC was the only one."
Reader Eric suggested school officials "go outside and check instead of just watching the local news for the forecast before deciding. I would be willing to bet that the other parochial schools in the Plymouth area that closed today only did so b/c they have a policy of adopting whatever PCCS does since that way they don't have to struggle to get the word out to their families. That is how the pre-schools we have used in the area handled it as well.
One parent, Jess, wrote, "I am a parent of a 6th grader that was scheduled to leave for Camp Storer this morning. I can't believe that schools were closed this morning. I had no idea. We drove to school this morning with ease...pulled in to find a deserted school. There was no ice. It was 37 degrees at 7am. This is terrible. I can't imagine how much this would stink for a parent who has to take off work. Sounds like a three-day weekend wasn't long enough for someone..."
National Weather Service meteorologist Karen Clark said temperatures recorded in the Plymouth-Canton area at 5 a.m. hovered around 35 degrees. She said light rain, which started around 3 a.m., and a dew point temperature of 31 degrees meant "basically you could allow room for that temperature to fall."
She said an overnight winter weather advisory for Wayne County, originally issued for 2 a.m. to noon Tuesday, was canceled just before 5:30 a.m.
Ken Jacobs, district's chief operating officer, made the decision to close the schools around 5:30 a.m., after he and the district’s director of transportation, Dean Mileto, test-drove many of the roads within the district, said Frank Ruggirello Jr., Plymouth-Canton Community Schools spokesman.
“We consulted with other districts in the area, Livonia, Wayne-Westland and others, and we knew we were the only one closing,” Ruggirello said. “A lot of the back roads, the dirt roads, were slick and we weren’t just thinking about this morning but this afternoon as well.”
He said parents’ ire is understandable, especially for those living on paved streets where, at 8 a.m., there were no apparent driving hazards.
“But we make this decision between 4:30 and 5:30 in the morning,” he said. “We know (the closing) puts some parents out who don’t have day care and we’re very sorry about that, but if there’s one accident, it’s not worth it.”
He added, “We figure we can take the yelling from parents if it keeps students safe. That’s our job.”