Social media has served as a flaming torrent of vitriol so many times already this school year, it’s a wonder that local students don’t go back to the “olden days” of walking to class.
Whether in town or out, by foot may well be the method of lessened angst and anger.
Yes, this is the fate of the region’s school bus consortium.
Three days last week were lost for a majority of local students as Student Transportation of Eastern Ontario (STEO) kept buses off area roads because of the weather.
Some days have, evidently, been justified as freezing rain or heavy snow left highways nearly impassable.
Others are, of course, questionable as the sun shone for much of it, or at least until late in the day, after students would have been home anyhow.
Right or wrong, the muttering from parents and other social media dwellers has been mighty as they look high and low for a weather forecast that dictates if school buses will be operational or not.
Connectivity has made it nearly impossible to not be aware of the situation.
Look at an electronic device, turn on the radio or TV, or check other portals. It’s often the easiest way.
And this is when the showdown begins.
Facebook, quite often, is the pulpit for so many as they lament the choices of STEO, and their child’s chosen school board.
It is a problem that has more to do with the sheer size of the area’s school boards, namely the Upper Canada collective, which stretches east from the Quebec border to a western boundary in Gananoque, and south from the St. Lawrence River, all the way north to the Arnprior area.
Weather is a funny thing in that it can bring down upward of a foot of snow in one area, and very little in another. The same goes for the prospects of freezing rain or other conditions deemed less than ideal for bus operation.
Those on the outside looking into the situation need to understand that clear highways don’t mean the many side roads are safe for travel. Sure, bus cancellations put a strain on families. That’s certainly the case for those without a means to get their child to a school that remains open, or other arrangements for care throughout the day.
Consider the alternative, however. Buses run on a day that is questionable weather-wise, and one of the vehicles runs off the road, leading to severe injury or, at the very worst, death.
It really is a case of better safe than sorry.