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Published April 02 2014

Forum editorial: Weather decision right call

The grousing over school closings that was prompted by Monday-Tuesday storm warnings in the Red River Valley is a woeful example of second guessing. Whether it came from parents who apparently can’t plan for a change in routine, or talk- show blowhards who have the luxury of being blithely irresponsible, criticism of the schools was misguided.

Fargo, West Fargo, Moorhead and other school systems canceled school Monday when credible sources for weather forecasting – the National Weather Service, the Weather Channel and every local TV meteorologist – were predicting a major spring storm that likely would become a serious blizzard. As is usual with such storms, the timing of its arrival was the only question. It arrived a few hours later than initially forecast, and that factor seems to have driven the critics into a frenzy of self-serving indignation.

A blizzard warning had been posted. School officials had a choice: conduct classes and put kids at risk if the storm hit as expected, or cancel school and guarantee students’ safety whenever the blizzard materialized. They almost universally opted for the safety of children. It was the right call, even as the schools understood the decision would be fodder for uninformed, unaccountable and ratings-driven bloviators on talk radio, if the storm was late in arriving.

One conclusion after the storm was that no matter what the schools decided, it was a no-win situation. Not so. The winners are children (and parents who have their heads screwed on straight) because school officials put the safety of their young charges first. We find no fault with that.

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Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.