A ray of hope in the gloom of 2020 as a West Virginia school superintendent reminds us of what’s really important in life — something that can’t be taken away by lockdowns and autocratic politicians.
Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Bondy Shay Gibson wrote in a letter to teachers, school staff, students, and parents on Tuesday that school would be closed for the day. Even though classes were virtual and almost the entire staff worked from home, Ms. Gibson thought everyone needed the break.
The letter went viral, now with 63 thousand shares on Facebook.
For generations, families have greeted the first snow day of the year with joy. It is a time of renewed wonder at all the beautiful things that each season holds. A reminder of how fleeting a childhood can be. An opportunity to make some memories with your family that you hold onto for life.
It has been a year of seemingly endless loss and the stress of trying to make up for that loss. For just a moment, we can all let go of the worry of making up for the many things we missed by making sure this is one thing our kids won’t lose this year.
So please, enjoy a day of sledding and hot chocolate and cozy fires. Take pictures of your kids in snow hats they will outgrow by next year and read books that you have wanted to lose yourself in, but haven’t had the time. We will return to the serious and urgent business of growing up on Thursday, but for tomorrow… go build a snowman.
The letter inspired Michele Dowell, superintendent of Belle Vernon Area School District in Pennsylvania, to write a similar letter and give the kids a day off. Plaudits came from all over the country and on social media.
Mrs. Gibson shared her reasons for writing the letter with the Washington Post:
She told the Post that she has been overwhelmed by the response to her message. Gibson said community members shared photos of area children playing in the show during the day off, and social media users from outside of the district also applauded the move.
“People are hungry for some joy. They want to see a light at the end of this tunnel,” Gibson said. “Some of that heaviness was suspended for just a day.”
School Superintendent Bondy Shay Gibson spent the snow day baking chocolate chip cookies and playing in the snow with her son and dogs.