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  • Ken Buck

I'd rather apologize for keeping your child home safe

I have been hearing a lot from all over both Carolinas today about the weather, especially with multiple districts all around opting away from in person learning. The basic premise is along the lines of "Schools changed their schedules but the weather didn't end up happening here."

I get it. My two kids were home today too, learning as best as they could from home. We had to accommodate a change in our plans for the day as best as we could. It wasn't perfect but we managed.

As a school board member we don't have input into those decisions but when I was a school administrator I had a lot of experience with the process. Such decisions are never made without first having multiple consultations with weather and other experts. You take the information you get from those experts and make the best possible informed decision you can make.

Will you get it wrong sometimes? Sure you will, but when I was an administrator I always preferred to be cautious. I always say that when it comes to child safety I prefer to be wrong and apologize for a child staying home safely than having to apologize to you for your child possibly having to go to the hospital.

As a teacher and as an administrator I was a part of schools being struck by tornadoes with children in the building. Trust me: you will do everything you can to avoid that again if you can. I learned a valuable lesson as an educator in the late 90's that really changed my perspective. A very wise superintendent and mentor (thanks Dr. John Williams) told me that the number one job of educators is to keep children safe SO THAT they can be educated. The latter can't happen if the former doesn't happen first.

The gravity of having literally the lives of thousands of children and adults in your hands is very heavy and keeps people up at nights. I would prefer caution any day. I have personally seen a lack of caution ending up with bad results.

As I said, as an administrator I hoped to be wrong and that nothing would happen but mere hope without preparation can be dangerous.


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