To Mr. William D. Wharton, Headmaster of Commonwealth School: Please Close School Friday

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Mr. Wharton,

The blizzard of January 2018 has incapacitated many in the greater Boston area and all of the eastern coast of Massachusetts. Several inches of snow and powerful winds have trapped people indoors, immobilized many, flooded hundreds of homes, caused power outages for thousands, and have created general disruption for the citizens of Boston. We appreciate your action to shut down school today, but also feel it would be necessary to close school tomorrow, January 5th, to ensure the safety of our students and faculty members. The recent forecast predicted intense cold, down to 11 degrees Fahrenheit, which will cause major accumulation of ice along roads, sidewalks, and cars. Winds are expected to reach 27 mph throughout the day, and the Governor has suggested that people remain indoors unless travel is absolutely necessary. Although plows have been working all day, many homes and cars are still trapped in feet of piled up snow that the trucks have left behind, making transportation by car difficult for students who rely on motor vehicles. Many Commonwealth students use the MBTA to get to school, and with the known reputation of the Boston public transportation system, delays will occur tomorrow. We understand that you did mention in your email that we should plan to leave earlier in preparation for the arduous trip into school tomorrow, but earlier departure will be accompanied by colder temperatures, made more severe still by the predicted wind chill, resulting in temperatures of -10 Fahrenheit or lower. We believe that the combination of icy roads and sidewalks, powerful winds, and frigid temperatures would unnecessarily endanger many students and faculty during their commute to and from school. 9 states had to activate the national guard today because of this storm. The intensity and destruction of this blizzard should not be pushed aside as an inconvenience. Our students and our teachers would face dangerous conditions in order to come into school tomorrow. We do not ask this lightly. We truly believe that this is a measure that should be taken to ensure not only the safety of our students and faculty, but of those who are plowing the roads and working to make the conditions safer. With this being said, we ask that you consider the problems that have been brought up, and choose the safe option for the sake of our students and teachers.

Sincerely,

Concerned Commonwealth Students

 



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