At 6 p.m. on Sunday, the Department of Education announced that public schools would be closed on Monday, as weather forecasts suggested NYC might be hit with 10 inches of snow, with a big messy Monday commute.
⚠️ Due to expected severe weather conditions, all NYC public schools will be CLOSED tomorrow, Monday, March 4, 2019. pic.twitter.com/cjQxxD3Uwk
— NYC Public Schools (@NYCSchools) March 3, 2019
It ended up being just slushy—with about two inches hitting Brooklyn and the Bronx, three inches in Staten Island, five inches in Central Park, and anywhere from two to seven inches in Queens (details)—but overall, pretty manageable. So the decision to close schools has raised the usual Monday morning (or Sunday evening) quarterbacking:
Wait, why are NYC public schools closed tomorrow? Forecasts aren’t perfect, maybe the Bronx is in deep, but this one shows barely 2 inches, done by the morning commute. pic.twitter.com/c4Zqyjtw0e
— Alyssa Katz (@alykatzz) March 4, 2019
This is lame, for less than 2ft of snow? 6"? If they'd follow the European model forecast back in November NYC wouldn't be so scared. Now any whisper of snow and the sky is falling. Watch https://t.co/HfIBQpxLe4 and stay alert. #grandsolarminimum #snowday
— The Stoic God (@RhanBlaze) March 4, 2019
Two of my clients cancelled today cause of a snow day. It wasn’t them, it was their gym and kids school. Walked outside this morning into that baby shit and shook my head. Why shut the city down over 2-3 inches? Come on. #nyc #snowday
— Taylor Nathe (@MyPlaceTayTay) March 4, 2019
NYC snow day—schools are closed. Enjoy the sledding? pic.twitter.com/7DvvydKxuw
— Sarah Engelmann (@EngelmannSarah) March 4, 2019
Of course, there were people demanding a snow day before one was called:
As I commute down the Taconic at 6am, I’m supposed to risk my life because heaven forbid NYC kids get a snow day?!? Or I have to use a sick/ personal day to stay safe. Winter is almost over, give us a snow day so we all can relax for the evening and not stress about the morning
— Kait Hyslop (@TheRealKatieBea) March 3, 2019
One of my favorite twitters is the NYC pre-snow storm angrily tweeting at the mayor to call a snow day twitter.
— Julie Klam (@JulieKlam) March 3, 2019
Of course, for every action, there's a corresponding reaction:
My favorite twitter is BS snow day twitter. pic.twitter.com/k5FPpPR8pT
— Ellen Umansky (@umanskyellen) March 4, 2019
all the olds complaining about the NYC snow day https://t.co/I0Y8nR7Luh
— Steadman™ (@AsteadWesley) March 4, 2019
Deciding whether to call a snow day or not is an extremely fraught decision, one that has to take into consideration the students who may walk or take buses to school; school staffs who may live outside the city; and parents, all against the backdrop of weather forecasts and the abilities of road cleanup crews in the city as well in the suburbs. Having snow days have definitely become a more common practice under Mayor Bill de Blasio, especially since there were only five snow days between 1978 and 2004 (this does not include Hurricanes Gloria and Floyd or 1993's "Asbestos Week").
When my kids were in NYC public schools, they NEVER got a snow day. Didn't matter how many inches were on the ground. https://t.co/HqKCGcDH5w
— Pete Puma (@PeterPumer) March 4, 2019
No snow day was called during the "micro-blizzard" last November, which resulted in an awful evening commute and saw children stranded in school buses for hours.
De Blasio's press secretary Eric Phillips told the Times this morning that the mayor "makes the call with as much time as possible for parents to plan. This is a no-win dynamic for any mayor.”
Any mayor’s school-closure process: safety first; accept criticism will come; be very skeptical of bureaucracy’s urge to close; add all real-time expert forecast data you can; listen & question those marshaling the resources; try to make best call in time for parents to adjust.
— Eric Phillips (@EricFPhillips) March 4, 2019
Well, at least this time de Blasio didn't incur the wrath of Al Roker.