ST. LOUIS - As St. Louis continues to dig out from nearly a foot of snow followed by sub-zero temperatures, most area school districts decided on Wednesday that a third day off would be needed to assure safety for students and staff.
There were some notable exceptions. Webster Groves, Kirkwood, Richmond Heights, Maplewood, and Clayton (late start) and a few others decided it was time for kids to hit the books.
Traditionally, when there are multiple snow days in a row, and especially when there is no clear consensus on when it's safe for kids to return, there is a hot debate among parents, educators, and administrators over the decision to cancel school.
On our KSDK Facebook page, at least at the time of this writing, the majority seemed to agree that a third day off in a row was the wise course of action.
And, as you might guess, it got a little heated.
We heard from parents, teachers, bus drivers, students, and everyone in between. And none of them held back.
Take a look:
"My gosh. These kids have been playing in the snow," writes Linda S. Clay, "But we are afraid to send them to school? We can't keep raising wimps!"
"Send them back," Frank Kadera wrote.
School bus driver Becky Burns disagreed.
"For the safety of everyone I do not feel comfortable transporting a bus load of children on these roads," she writes.
Mary Morak felt sympathy for working parents scrambling to line up daycare.
"My question is: Do you really think parents are able to stay home with their kids? What about their work? Can they take off that long? I think not. The reality is that parents are scrambling to find care for their children so they can get to work. So how safe are the kids really?"
Christine Benson took issue with parents complaining that they are struggling to get last minute child care because of an additional snow day.
"I can't believe the people commenting about wanting the school open because you need a babysitter! Schools are NOT babysitting. They are NOT glorified daycare. Those teachers and staff members have high levels of education and they work hard to educate YOUR child so they can have a successful life. Children do not need to be walking down the middle of the road to get to school just so you aren't inconvenienced by your parental responsibilities."
Jessica Determan went a step further: "I am a teacher in a tougher district in the St. Louis area. As I read these comments I am somewhat shocked. I now understand why these kids come to us with such severe issues and problems. There are parents out there that are willing to jeopardize the safety of their children because they don't want to deal with them at home. Oh how I wish people had to take a test to be parents!"
"I am a teacher with two young children at home," writes Kristy Smith Kennedy. "It makes me proud to know how many of you are putting the safety of children a top priority. And many of you noted the safety of school staff important as well. A few snow days may not be ideal and a bit of an inconvenience, but in the end all of us want what is best for children...and even when school is in session safety is what each child deserves and what each quality teacher should provide."
Still others expressed anger at the schools that did open on Wednesday.
"I am appalled that the Webster Groves school district is in session today. Our residential streets are still snow and ice packed which is putting our young drivers at risk," writes Amie Jones.
Maggie Schilling agreed.
"I am extremely upset that Webster Groves Schools are open. The roads and sidewalks are snow packed. I feel that the safety of the students has been overlooked."
Area Catholic school parents also weighed in.
"My daughter goes to a Catholic high school so there are no buses-lots of teen drivers. The highways may be clear but getting to it is dangerous. Not happy they are open today," wrote Linda Kohlschreiber Edison.
Tracy Kreitler McCart blames the news media.
"Why does the media make such a big deal out of this issue? The superintendents and bus staff are smart enough to make the right decision for their school districts. The news crews then come in and question them either way. Shame on the media!"
And on that note, be sure to watch Today in St. Louis every weekday morning for the most up to the minute school closings.