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Fear of Flakes

The Free Lance-Star has a fine editorial about wimpy government school systems that shut down as soon as the first snowflake hits the sidewalk. The FL-S's ire is aimed at the City of Fredericksburg's schools, but the editorial works just as well when applied locally.

No one suggests that school authorities demonstrate chest hair by opening schools in truly dangerous weather. But if the school-closing standard instinctively embraced by administrators here were applied to Minnesota, or parts of Michigan, or, for that matter, sections of nearby Pennsylvania, everyone in those places would grow up dumb as a stump.

Also, if young people as a group have a spotty work ethic--some employers grouse about this--are they being conditioned to malinger by educrats who, faced with modest physical adversity, shutter students' "workplace"? School officials often lobby government for more funds on the ground that education is Job No. 1--a plausible assertion. But when there is snow on the ground, all other jobs seem more important by virtue of the fact that they're being done. The local school, meanwhile, is apt to be idle.

Arlington's students deserve public schools with a little more gumption.