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10

Tuesday's Most Active Threads

by Jeff Steele last modified Jan 10, 2024 11:30 AM

Yesterday's topics with the most engagement included MCPS early dismissal, unhappiness with the likely presidential candidates, the "dead zone" for upper middle class families for college admissions, and presidential immunity.

The most active thread yesterday was titled, "Possible early dismissal Tuesday?" and posted in the "Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS)" forum. The thread was started Monday evening by a poster suggesting that, due to flood and high wind warnings for Tuesday, the Montgomery County Public Schools system might want to send students home early to ensure that they were off the buses before things got bad. If you are surprised that a thread on this topic could end up as the most active of the day, you are not familiar with this area's parents of school children. Parents are divided between those who expect schools to be open during anything short of nuclear war and who would rather have a voluntary root canal than be forced to change their schedules and those who constantly fear the worst and advocate for school closures at the drop of a leaf, particularly if that leaf dropped as a result of inclement weather. In this type of situation, schools face a no win situation. Decisions must be made in advance or they get criticized for last minute changes. That often requires working with imperfect information and changing weather forecasts. Failing to close when they should have can leave children stranded and in danger. But, closing and then having the weather turn out to be fine results in second guessing and complaints. A large system like MCPS that covers an extensive geographic area has an even more difficult time because the conditions in one part of the county might be considerably different than another part. Debates about what to do can be especially vehement when they are taking place at a time when the weather is particularly nice as was the case in this instance. Posts ranged all the way from those warning of the possibility of buses "floating away" to those complaining that DCUM posters were "cheering on the hysteria". When the school system finally announced that schools would close 2 and a half hours early, approximately a third of Montgomery County's residents rushed to post the news in this thread. There is nearly an entire page of posts repeating the same information. This provoked a round of scoffing from those scornful that schools would close "because of rain". One complained that "families shouldn't have to leave work for this nonsense." Those posters, in turn, faced their own pushback with one saying, "I assume these comments are coming from people who walked 10 miles to school each day, uphill both ways, in the dark, across live power lines, in five feet of snow, fighting off wolves, and they were fine so why don't we do that now?" The rest of the thread was spent with posters criticizing almost every aspect of the decision from almost every angle. For some, the decision was made too early, for others too late. For some it was justified, for others not. Some were bothered by repeated notices of the closure, others complained that they had not been informed. The debate about whether the schedule change was justified continued well into the evening and even into today with no agreement in sight.

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