You don't have to be a child to appreciate the joy and relief of finding out school is canceled on a snow day. Maybe you bundled up to dive head-first into piles and piles of fluffy white snow, or maybe you stayed inside in your sweats and socks to snuggle up and watch Nickelodeon and eat piping hot Lipton soup (it comes in two temperatures: Burn Your Tongue Off Hot or Ice Cold, there is no in-between). Either way, snow days were AND ARE awesome. They're also necessary breaks for kids that benefit from shutting their brains off for a day. Too bad the New York City Department of Education doesn't seem to agree.
Schools across the country became adept at ensuring distance learning was successful during the pandemic, and because of that, NYC schools won't have any more snow days. Instead, on days of inclement winter weather, students will still attend school—from home.
"On 'Snow days' or days when school buildings are closed due to an emergency, all students and families should plan on participating in remote learning," the department's 2021-22 school calendar states.
In awful news, NYC public schools will abandon one of life's great pleasures, snow days, next year. Another casualt… https://t.co/M4fmSyDfTb— Nicholas A. Christakis (@NAChristakis) 1620152772.0
This decision has garnered a lot of attention on social media, with a vast majority of people agreeing that this decision deserves a big thumbs-down.
@NAChristakis A crime against humanity! One of the great pleasures of childhood— Michael Powell (@powellnyt) 1620152877.0
@NAChristakis It's been a tough year for many, but this is the saddest news I've heard in ages. One of my favorite… https://t.co/OvXqfsW5fe— Andrei Goldfain (@andreigoldfain) 1620153757.0
@NAChristakis @bariweiss Heard about this two months ago, really upsetting actually. Isn’t the science out that stu… https://t.co/iEO5aEySa9— Trading Idiot (@cryptogoon13) 1620153047.0
During the pandemic, some schools in the U.S. eliminated snow days in favor of distance learning. A lot of schools, though, doubled down on the importance of snow days as a simple, rite-of-passage of childhood.
A West Virginia school Superintendent sent a letter home to district parents last December ahead of an expected snowstorm. Despite the fact that the WV schools were all virtual, Superintendent Bondy Shay Gibson's letter went viral because she said she believes the school community is still entitled to a good, old-fashioned snow day.
"For generations, families have greeted the first snow day of the year with joy," she writes. "It is a time of renewed wonder at all the beautiful things each season holds. A reminder of how fleeting a childhood can be. An opportunity to make some memories with your family that you hold onto for life."
The pandemic has robbed kids of so much this past year. If NYC doesn't typically have many snow days per year anyway, what's the harm in keeping them in place? Maybe the department will change their minds. Or maybe NYC kids will still find a way to enjoy the sweet simplicity of a snow day anyway.