On Tuesday, the weather forecast called for up to four inches of snow. Schools announced Tuesday closings already Monday night.

The snow was projected to start early and last most of the day.

The forecasts called for hazardous driving conditions.

Every school in the local area closed.

We got some snow on Tuesday but it was just a coating. In most cases plowing wasn't even needed. There were no travel problems on Tuesday.

The schools did the right thing closing. Had we gotten what forecasters wrongly predicted, driving could have gotten treacherous. The worst of the weather would have occurred while our children were in school.

Some school officials took criticism because classes were canceled.

Yet, how many times have we viewed the news and seen buses laying on their side from poor driving conditions? Or cars and trucks skidding in ice into school buses?

Fortunately nothing very serious has happened locally. And we hope it doesn't. Thankfully, school officials do all they can to keep our precious cargo safe.

Some people complain that when they were in school, classes weren't canceled so quickly. Heck, to hear old timers they walked miles to school in two-foot drifts.

The truth is, there has never been as much traffic as there is today. And, motorists seem more in a hurry than they used to, leading them to spin out of control on slippery roads and potentially into a school bus or maybe into students waiting at a bus stop.

We have a lot of mountain roads and rural areas where plowing and cindering doesn't occur.

Even on heavily traveled roads, danger comes quickly. We recall an instance where elementary students were stuck on a hill on a state highway for three hours, waiting for a road crew. The hill was too slick for vehicles to descend it.

A bus sliding into a ditch can result in injuries to many children. Remember, buses aren't required to have seat belts and many don't.

Don't fault school officials for canceling classes. Instead, thank them for making the safety of our children a priority.

By RON GOWER

rgower@tnonline.com [1]