Staying Safe on Icy Mornings


Teresa Randlett

A harsh winter has made for tough driving calls, for both administrators and students.

Teresa Randlett, Assistant Entertainment Editor

Should icy mornings excuse tardiness?

Although spring is right around the corner, snow and ice still loom on the roads of Hollis and Brookline. The unpredictable weather this season makes it difficult for administration to make a call about cancellation or delays, having had many uncertain mornings with too little snow for a delay, but too much for any measure of safe driving.

Administration then has to make a tough decision: to penalize students with a tardy for driving safely and slowly to school, or to excuse their tardiness and reward them for driving safely by simply sending them off to class without repercussions.

Sarla Patel, school secretary, is in charge of all students’ attendance and is the person to talk to when walking into the school after the bell has rung at 7:15 a.m.. She uses her own discretion case-by-case, to decide if the student actually was driving safely through the ice or if they are abusing the excuse to stop for their morning coffee. According to Patel, “Students should adjust their leaving times in the morning to add in extra travel time for slower driving, but any day the school would rather the students get here safe but late.”

Patel also suggested that parents write emails for their children, excusing the lateness. In this day and age, it is easy for students to shoot off a text to their parents explaining their tardiness, and a simple communication from the parent can solve the problem before it’s created. Though sometimes, parents don’t know how poor the road conditions are in the morning,communication between students and parents can easily create a solution.

Brookline student Nicola Chomiak, ‘16, realized she has a long way to go to get to school in the morning, and even more of a trek in icy conditions. But she admits that sometimes, she isn’t always able to make room for extra travel time. “I’ve got to say, I sometimes rush driving to school to make it there before 7:15, but known I should’ve taken my time. I feel the pressure to make it there before the first bell rings.”

Students at this age should be given more responsibility for their actions, especially when it comes to making decisions about their safety. They should be treated like adults, by being able to call the school themselves and give fair warning that they will be arriving late. This system, similar to how any working adult would call in to their boss, should become an option for students on an icy morning–with steps taken, of course, against abuse of the privilege.

For now, students should take into account the poor weather conditions and ultimately make the safe decision of arriving late if necessary. Adding in time for their morning commute is the easiest strategy to avoid a tardy on those icy mornings. But if lateness is truly unavoidable, be sure to clue parents in so they can excuse you due to safe driving.