Don’t be too quick to criticize

Published 7:03 pm Thursday, April 2, 2009

If you logged onto The Clanton Advertiser’s Web site or made your way about town Thursday, you probably read and/or heard a mixture of positive and negative comments regarding Superintendent Keith Moore’s decision to dismiss schools at noon due to the possibility of severe weather.

The decision was made Wednesday afternoon based on advice from weather and emergency officials. Some, however, tend to believe that our education officials jumped the gun on this decision.

We respectfully disagree. While people are more than welcome to express their opinions, we believe some of the statements that circulated about Mr. Moore were unwarranted.

It’s easy to say what you would have done when you aren’t responsible for 7,500 children around Chilton County.

While sometimes these decisions are not popular because they interrupt people’s daily routines, they are necessary to ensure the safety of our greatest commodity — our children.

What would be better, to plan ahead so that everyone involved from the parents to the bus drivers to the principals knows what to expect, or to make the decision to dismiss school with, say, only 30 minutes’ or an hour’s notice? Granted, the latter might be a more informed decision based on weather forecasts, but this is not something you want to decide on the spur of a moment. That will serve only to further irritate people and make them feel rushed. And when people are rushed, things tend to not run very smoothly.

As it turned out, nothing happened — or at least nothing happened that caused major damage in the county. That’s when it’s easy to criticize, but the tornado warnings issued for Tuscaloosa County shortly after the regular school dismissal time could easily have been here.

Despite the negative comments, there were a good number of positive comments about the decision as well. All that we ask is that you try to put yourself in the superintendent’s shoes.