The random thoughts of a nash.
'you mean it gets cold every year?'
Published on December 4, 2005 By Gene Nash In Current Events

In Las Vegas, Nevada, the Clark County School District has a little problem: shivering students.

Kids at dozens of schools have been forced to attend classes wearing scarfs, gloves, and heavy jackets. It seems the schools have older equipment that requires maintenance workers to physically start it by hand.

Big deal, right? Start the heaters, warm up the kids. No problem. Wrong! First we must run the bureaucratic obstacle course!

Here are some of the excuses and my responses:

* The school district claims they were "unprepared" for "the sudden drop in temperature" this past week.

While there was a sudden temperature drop last weekend, it could hardly be considered unexpected. There is always a sudden temperature drop in the area -- always as in every blessed year -- at this time of year. The only difference is, it usually comes at Halloween not Thanksgiving. Let me reiterate that in case anyone from the school district is reading this. I'll type slowly so they can understand.

Every year, usually right at Halloween, the weather takes a tremendous downward swing. We go from summer to winter practically overnight.

How can the school district claim to be caught off guard? They didn't know every year sees this drop? I've only been here three years and I learned that year one. They didn't know it gets cold toward winter? Let's all chip in and buy them a Farmer's Almanac. Nature even gave them an extra month and they still couldn't be bothered to get off their rumps and go get the heaters working in time.

And, really, the weatherpeople had been forecasting the sudden plunge for a week. No-one at the school district pays attention to the weather report? Or is it that they just didn't want to call attention to themselves by clearing their throats and pointing it out? Personally, I think it is the district's responsibility to pay attention to such things so they can gauge what they're facing and anticipate any problems.

There is no excuse.

* It was the principals' responsibility to call the district and request the heaters be turned on.

Which translates into, "It was their fault, not ours." So the principals are the idiots who've never heard of winter? Okay.

BZZZZZ! Sorry school district, that still doesn't let you off the hook. The principals are still your employees, so the buck stops with you. It's still your fault for not properly instructing your employees or supervising them. No matter how you cut it, those students are your charges and it's your responsibility to see they are taken care of.

* The principals are so busy "taking care of the students" that they didn't have time to make the calls.

Oh, give me a break. They didn't have 10 minutes to pick up the phone and say, "Hey, it should have been cold here two weeks ago. We've lucked out. When are you going to get your backsides over here and start up this heater?" Strike that, they couldn't take 30 seconds to tell their secretaries to do same and make sure it was done even if the secretary had to stay late? (Because you don't really expect the poor, downtrodden-with-work principals to actually pick up the phone and call someone themselves, do you? Of course not.)

They should have stopped with the prior excuse. This one makes it look worse. They're making excuses for their excuses. "Gee, we know the principals are too busy to even know about this or for the few who do know about it to think about it, but it's still their fault. If only they had called those kids wouldn't have frost bite."

It's pretty clear the school district knows about the problem, knows which schools have heaters that need manually started, and should have known coldness was at hand. They don't need to be called. They're the ones in charge! Though they shouldn't be, because clearly they are unable to take responsibility. Anyone unable to take responsibility should have none.

Does government attract blithering idiots or create them after the fact?

The whole debacle reminds me of FEMA, Louisiana, and hurricane Katrina. "Why didn't you do something?" "Why didn't you call us to do something?" Why don't one of you grow a set? They're so busy blaming each other, they're totally oblivious to the suffering going on around them.

Someone do the right thing: stop covering your backsides and just do what needs done.

Parents get ready. Stock up on gloves and jackets during the spring clearance sales, because the one thing I can be sure of is that they'll learn nothing from this, and next year we'll have another round of the exact same thing.

on Dec 04, 2005 hit on the head.

I taught in Clark County last year. The weather *does* go from pleasant to a little unpleasant right about now--it gets dark and grey and the desert wind gets cold. I don't remember ever being *cold* in my school, though.

Clark County is so large that it's hard to keep track of who's doing what, you know? I'm not saying this is an excuse for this thing--but basically no one knows what's going on because no one knows who to talk to and it's really just one big jumbled mess. It's chaos in Clark really truly is. Really? I think it's all a ploy to save the district a few bucks in energy expenses.
on Dec 05, 2005
since i had the good sense to move to where i live now and i've made it a point to never go above 3000 ft during months that begin with winter names like oct, nov, dec, jan, feb, mar and apr), i've only really experienced real cold a couple times. one of those was vegas in november.

assuming they get the heat on, who's gonna turn it off when the place reverts to its lovable blast furnace self?

(i never thought i'd say this, but if i hadda choice, i think i'd prefer the cold cuz you can always snuggle with your classmates or burn up desks, but without someone to plug in the fridge, taking off all your clothes and sitting in a big bag of ice isnt gonna be possible....and, at least according to jack london, freezing to death sounds much less traumatic than being barbecued.)
on Dec 05, 2005
Why don't one of you grow a set?

good point, good article!
on Dec 05, 2005
I guess the administrators in Clarke county are the same as the ones here!