This school closure suggests our communal sense is lacking

by Mr. Sheehy

My school district called school off today, Friday, for the third day in a row due to a blizzard that hit Wednesday night. The reason the district gave is understandable–large drifts are blocking doors in many schools and grounds crews have not been able to clear them away in time (ah–the budget cuts that slashed custodial crews hurt today!). But the sad part of this, it strikes me, is what this reveals about our community, or at least our assumptions about it.

What if our school district had sent out a note on our phone-dialer system at noon yesterday telling the community we were having trouble clearing drifts? That we might have to cancel school Friday unless people could come and help the schools dig out? Maybe no one would have responded, but in a town of more than 70,000 people, surely a few would have chipped in? Surely a few of the thousands of teenagers hanging out at home playing with their phones might have grabbed a shovel and donated an hour or two of their time?

And maybe we as a district would never have thought of doing such a thing.

And that’s too bad not only because we’re missing another day of school today, but because it suggests how little we sense the communal aspect of our community.