Nov. 26 should have been snow day

Sunday morning you wake up to the wind howling and the power in your house not working. You look outside to see a blizzard billowing and covering everything in a blanket of ice. Around noon the power is restored and everything goes back to normal as the blizzard dies down. All you can think to yourself is “Man, I wish I don’t have school tomorrow.”

This was the case for many of the students of Hays High and to the disappointment of many, school was still scheduled. While many of the surrounding cities and even the local college didn’t have school, USD 489 decided to keep the district running.

While the education of the students is the top priority of the district, the safety of them should be the second. Yes, most of the busy roads in Hays were cleared of most ice by Monday morning, but highways were a big issue. And with students commuting to school from Ellis, WaKeeney, and Russell, this caused problems and deterred students from showing up in general.

On top of the icy conditions the power outages the previous day had shut down the school heating system. By 8 a.m., half the school was freezing cold and the other was tolerable. Due to this, ceilings were dripping and vents were creaking in the early half of first hour.

In Monday’s board meeting, Superintendent John Thissen said that the school board does not have the money in the budget to salt the parking lots and that we have a limited number of snow days compared to other school districts. “We have two and a half (snow days),” Thissen said. “They could have been used today but if you go past that there is a point where you have to pay those back.”

This has caused many complaints and issues with the students. Throughout the entire school on Monday morning, there were complaints and groans groaning from the kids who believed that they shouldn’t have been there. While this hasn’t been the worst snow Hays has seen in the recent years, conditions were still bad enough that students shouldn’t have been forced to attend.