I'm guessing the parks in Stevens Point are empty today.
It's a sunny 90 degrees or so in Central Wisconsin, but I'll bet there isn't a single kid riding a bike, playing baseball, or just plain hangin' out even though the local school district gave them an unplanned day off.
The bonus vacation comes courtesy of officials who looked at today's forecast and decided it would be best to shut the schools because of THE POSSIBILITY of severe weather later today.
As I write this, there are no warnings or watches posted in the area.
This is one of those deals where the decision will look brilliant if, indeed, a funnel flattens Stevens Point Area Senior High School. That said, administrators will be punching bags if nothing happens.
Is this the start of a trend?
We remember not to long ago when Milwaukee Public Schools closed in advance of a pending snowstorm--one that looked to be a mortal lock, but that later fizzled out. Kids who were to be home helping mom and dad shovel out were packing local theatres and malls, while administrators got roasted.
Does the Point decision mean we're destined for more unplanned days off each time the National Storm Prediction Center colors Wisconsin red, raising the prospect that severe weather might develop?
I notice Marshfield, Wisconsin Rapids and Wausau didn't lemming along with Point--nor did smaller districts in the region. Will those administrators be accused of subjecting students to possible danger? Or, will they be hailed as practitioners of common sense--leaving the option open to send kids home early, or even put them in the basement of the school should the weather turn bad?
Someone in our newsroom asked the question, "Does this mean we should keep kids who take the bus to and from school each day home because there's a chance they could get into an accident?"
I can't imagine how this decision must be playing out in Stevens Point homes as family routines got blown apart by the district's decision to call off class. Parents probably had to scramble to find sitters. Some moms or dads might've had to take vacation or sick days to be with kids who would otherwise be in class. After all, Central Wisconsin industry continued today despite the pending doom supposedly heading our way.
The same "potential" for severe weather hangs over our heads this morning in Milwaukee, but as I look out my window, I see sunny skies and what looks to be a warm, windy, late-spring day.
I feel like tempting fate.
I think I'll do lunch on my deck.