Saint John — Parts of New Brunswick were blasted with a winter storm that began Monday afternoon and continued late through Tuesday, creating chaos for schools and parents alike. The decision was made by the Anglophone South School District not to cancel, but to delay buses 1 hour and have schools open at their regular time Tuesday morning.
“We got torn apart over all of the snow days last winter,” lamented superintendent Zoe Watson. “And now, we’re getting raked over the coals for not closing school — it’s pretty well a no-win situation for me.”
Watson explained how she came to the decision to keep schools open.
“I looked outside and saw that the roads looked pretty dicey,” she recalled. “Then, I was like ‘pretty dicey isn’t the same as super dicey.’ So, I got out my lucky coin — a Walt Disney penny with Goofy on it– and let Lady Luck decide it. Goofy, school is on. Disney Castle, no school. That’s a call I’ve been regretting since I flipped that penny into the air.”
Social media outlets including Facebook were littered with opinions on the superintendent’s choice, and many didn’t hold back any punches.
“Four trucks off the road I live on and school isn’t cancelled? Totally insane that I have to take my kids out in this just so they can spend 3 hours at school,” complained Saint John mother Janice Elliot in her newsfeed.
The Manatee was able to speak with Elliot at her home this morning while her kids were at school, and asked whether she made it there and back safely.
“Barely!” she shouted. “I got stuck in the driveway, and just about slid off the road 3 separate times. I can’t believe I took my kids out in that — makes me so mad at the government. How dare they? How dare they open schools and force me to endanger my children like that?”
Our reporter asked the mother of 2 why she felt “forced” to take her kids out on the roads if she felt they were too dangerous. “I can’t just change my plans and potentially lose money by keeping my kids home,” she explained. When asked what she does for a living, Elliot confessed she doesn’t actually have a job.
“Oh, I don’t work,” she proudly proclaimed. “That’s why I said ‘potentially.’ I potentially could have lost money. I didn’t because I don’t work, but I could have.”
The Facebook status, at last check, had 67 comments, 144 likes and was shared by several of Elliot’s friends who were also mortified at the school board forcing her to put her children in harm’s way. “Stay strong Janice!” replied Heather Arden. “I know how much you love those kids most of the time and can’t believe the government wants to hurt them!”
The Manatee asked Watson what, if anything, she can do in the future to avoid a repeat of Friday’s events. “I’m thinking of switching to a magic 8 ball,” she said.