Be it heavy rain or a sunshine so scorching, snow days up to the heights of Kanye West’s ego or even acquiring the fame of Twitter, the Gwinnett County Public School system is notorious for abiding by a strict enforcement of 180 school days (even when the governor says it is not necessary). However, it seems even GCPS have their limits when it comes to closing schools for the safety of over 178,000 students. Therefore Hurricane Irma became the biggest icon to the students currently enrolled with the county as the warnings of her danger compelled a closing of more than half of a school week.
Hurricane Irma began her trek August 30, 2017, on the west coast of Africa and journeyed towards the Caribbean and developed into a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir–Simpson scale. She brought much destruction in her wake so the worries of county officials were more than justified. Essentially, Hurricane Irma is noted to have become stronger than even Hurricane Katrina in 2005 with winds reaching 185 mph (Katrina peaked at 175 mph) according to Business Insider.
Because of its unwillingness to stop at Florida, Hurricane Irma became the first cyclone in history to move through the entire state of Georgia and up into Tennessee, forcing Governor Nathan Deal to issue a state of emergency for all 159 counties.
As a result, GCPS announced the closing of schools because of “the threat of severe weather” for school days Monday, September 11th & Tuesday, September 12th, and once more on Wednesday, September 13th due to power outages faced by many areas of the county along with concerns of transportation.
Students were elated with the news of school closing on the first two days, but some felt the third day was pushing the boundaries.
Many even took to social media to express their boredom from even the second day off as all of their school work was completed by Monday since everyone was under the assumption they would be back to the halls of their school the next day.
Junior Kareena Udeshi notes, “Although it was a beautiful day outside, the school was canceled. I was forced to stay indoors and complete homework assignments that my teachers assigned due to inclement weather, and now there might be a possibility of an extended school year. So I wasted the whole day for nothing.”
Regardless, it is important to remember that many students within the county have ultimately no electricity, so their schools may have the same issue as well. The third day off would be beneficial to the impacted in getting any work sorted for their return on Thursday.
But through rain or shine, GCPS would stop at nothing for the bragging rights of creating World Class students. And with three inclement weather days currently occupied because of Hurricane Irma’s reign of terror, students pray that the months of December and January are not as harsh with weather forecasts because any more days off may cause a repeat of the 2014 plan of extending school for thirty minutes every day until the 180 days of school have been fulfilled. Who knows, a late graduation for the class of 2018 may ensue as well.