There have been reports that schools are failing to provide heat to their students during one of the most severe cold snaps we have seen in a long time. This has the media going nuts and parents worried with good reason. It’s hard enough to teach kids with ideal conditions, let alone with freezing ones. On a morning like this, kids are going from a freezing bus stop, to a warm and smelly bus, to a guess what? A freezing classroom!
I am a product of the Orange County School system (apologies, to my English teachers) and I am here to tell you. Your kids need to be tough, because schools in Orange County are no joke! The classrooms are crowded, the facilities are old, and the teachers are underpaid.
I have fond memories of walking though the frozen tundra of Lockhart Middle School, on a January morning like this one. Moving through the courtyard observing my fellow students wrestling, playing wall ball, and screaming at each other, it kinda resembled Thunderdome from the Mad Max movies. After the alarm sounded (there was no bell) everyone rushed to class to meet their tired teachers who had just navigated down I-4, through our world famous Orlando traffic, to start their day. Classes would break for lunch and back into scene out of post apocalyptic Sci-fi, to give us a chance to grab something to eat. Our lunches would be one slice of Pizza Hut Pizza, A large cookie, and a Slushie ( In the January cold) and then back indoors where we would continue to take for granted what our teachers were telling us until school was out. There would be drama, schoolyard fights where our Principal would run through the crowd of students like Tim Tebow through the Cincinnati defense and break things up. The books were old, the computers rarely worked but hey, the classrooms were warm.
It’s even tougher now, stereo-types, smart phones and edgier television that encourages kids to grow up even faster. If the heat is not working, kids aren’t listening. There is a fair amount that wasn’t listening when the heat was working. Let the kids go home and tack on the days to the end of the year or come up with something else.