Lack of Two-Hour Delay Brings Complaints from Students Across the County


It happens every year. A winter storm approaches, meteorologists warn us of several inches of snow and ice, and the aisles are scavenged for milk and bread. As people across the state prepare to bundle up and build snowmen, here in Union County people simply laugh. While parts of the state can receive several inches or even feet of snow, the area south of Charlotte rarely gets more than a slight dusting and some freezing rain. Despite this continued trend, when the weatherman points to an incoming winter storm, children across the county hope for school cancellations.

At the beginning of December, one such storm was headed towards the Carolinas, promising several inches of snow and ice. The storm was supposed to hit on the night of December 9th, a Sunday, and continue throughout the next day. On Sunday, Union County Public Schools issued a 2 hour delay for Monday, December 10th with a promise to continue to evaluate weather conditions and consider cancelling school.

When students woke up the next morning, they were hardly surprised by the slight dusting of powder and barely freezing temperatures. Despite the forecast of snow and hopes of cancellation, children, parents, and teachers climbed out of bed and went to school.

Although everyone was safe and there were no accidents, power outages, or other incidents, students still found much to complain about. From frosty windshields to shivering at the bus stop, almost everyone found a reason to argue why school should have been cancelled. On Twitter, many students fully embraced the opportunity to call out UCPS by saying “I’m going to sue you if we get into a car accident” and “Imma fight houlihan” amongst other complaints. None of the tweets are thought to be from Weddington students, but from teens and even parents across the county. The issue escalated so quickly that @UCPS_MonroeNC tweeted, “Please be respectful in your comments about @UCPS_MonroeNC leaders. Thank you!”

Dr. Jones, the Principle of Weddington High School, stands behind the decision to issue a Two-Hour Delay on December 10th and 11th. He states that he believes that “the county’s decision was well thought out and that it was made with input from a variety of sources, including local law enforcement, local emergency management, and people who are experts in regards to safety in regards to the roads.” What Dr. Jones and many others consider to be the real concerning issue is how the decision was received and the online response. “I think that social media can be a wonderful tool for communication and a wonderful tool for people to voice their thoughts on issues,” Dr. Jones begins, “but it also can provide people with the opportunity to be a little bit cowardly. I say that because you can put something out there with a fake account and no one even knows who you are, so you’re doing it behind a mask. It’s a good thing in America that we have the opportunity to question our leaders or disagree with leaders, but I think that in order for that kind of system to be most effective things have to be done in a respectful, fact based way, not in a name calling, sarcastic, divisive kind of way. I saw a lot of the latter, I saw a lot of the sarcasm and divisiveness and negativity on social media, and that to me isn’t productive at all.”