Atlanta weather and schools: tougher calls on closing

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Atlanta weather and schools: tougher calls on closing

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Metro Atlanta is under a winter weather advisory until noon, according to the National Weather Service. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

This. Is. Ridiculous.

That’s how one woman reacted to the decision to close schools Monday for freezing that didn’t fall.

Ever since 2014, a particularly bad year for weather events, Atlanta leaders have been weather wary and willing to shutter schools at the slightest provocation from Mother Nature.

Many think that wise, given the trauma of “Snowpocalypse” four years ago, when the roads froze and locked down the city, stranding motorists. Students slept in schools and had to be rescued from school buses. Atlanta, a city that could be crippled by two inches of snow, became the butt of jokes nationally.

Some wonder whether the effort to burnish Atlanta’s image as it hunts big economic development quarry, like Amazon’s second headquarters, played into the decision to shut down on Monday. With the college championship football game in town and a visit from President Donald Trump scheduled, traffic was already a worry. It would have been an unfortunate moment, with all those news crews in town, to have another ice lock down.

School superintendents say these decisions aren’t made lightly. When schools close, it can be more than a nuisance for parents, many of whom must either scramble to find child care or suffer consequences at work.

And many feel like preemptive closures are more frequent. It’s unclear whether school officials are over-reacting to weather or simply reacting to more of it given recent trends in the weather.

In other Weather news:

Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Katie Walls reports.

The AJC's Ty Tagami keeps you updated on the latest in Georgia education at myAJC.com, the subscriber website of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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