A local superintendent has turned an announcement about schools closing for an impending snowstorm into a teachable, emotional moment.
— Neal Augenstein (@AugensteinWTOP) December 15, 2020
Bondy Shay Gibson is superintendent of Jefferson County, West Virginia’s public schools. Adjacent to Loudoun County, Virginia, Gibson heeded meteorologists’ forecast of a major snowstorm and sent a note to the community that schools would be closed Wednesday.
For generations, families have greeted the first snow day of the year with joy. It is a time of renewed wonder at all the beautiful things that each season holds. A reminder of how fleeting a childhood can be. An opportunity to make some memories with your family that you hold onto for life.
While the closing of schools always brings yips of happiness from children, Gibson’s announcement held extra poignancy during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
It has been a year of seemingly endless loss and the stress of trying to make up for that loss. For just a moment, we can all let go of the worry of making up for the many things we missed by making sure this is one thing our kids won’t lose this year.
Gibson made no mention of doing homework — or shoveling snow — in her letter to children, their parents and staff.
So please, enjoy a day of sledding and hot chocolate and cozy fires. Take pictures of your kids in snow hats they will outgrow by next year and read books that you have wanted to lose yourself in, but haven’t had the time. We will return to the serious and urgent business of growing up on Thursday, but for tomorrow — go build a snowman.
The news of the day does not sit well with parents who think their children should be in class and learning and for those parents who have to work.
yeah, for people who have the ability to spend a day drinking hot cocoa, but there are a ton of parents who have to show up to work tomorrow (in person, not on zoom) that this “hahaha it’s fun” mentality totally screws over
— Nathan Klein (@NathanKleinDC) December 16, 2020
For the most part, Gibson’s letter touched has sparked positive reactions on social media.
I’m bawling like a baby and I don’t know why.
— Sandie Geis (@SSGnebraska) December 16, 2020
This is the first time that a snow day announcement made me verklempt. ❤️
— Stacey Viera, MPH(c) 😷 (@staceyviera) December 15, 2020
Bondy Shay Gibson, not the hero we deserve but the hero we need ❤️⛄️
— Jennifer Whitacre (@jenniwutang) December 16, 2020
I keep thinking about “business as usual” and “must stay productive” in the middle of a pandemic and … this makes me happy. Because occasional breaks for joy SHOULD BE part of business as usual whenever possible. https://t.co/Yaf0JQelQg
— Alex Freidus (@alexfreidus) December 16, 2020