Ordered Shut Down Until Further Notice To Keep Pupils Off Streets

The cancellation of school sessions for elementary grade students until further notice was ordered at the organization meeting of the School Committee, last night.

The vote to close the elementary schools was the result of a motion by Committeeman John J. Cook, seconded by Thomas R. Bowler and was carried with only Committeeman John J. Curran opposing.

A lengthy discussion preceded the vote in which Committeeman John Reynolds related the deep concern many parents have felt regarding the safety of their children walking to and from school with travel conditions as they are.

It was pointed out that very few sidewalks in town are in a usable condition and the children are forced to walk on the streets. Most of the streets are much narrower than usual and the pedestrians are sometimes forced to climb up on snowbanks to avoid automobiles.

The practicability of blocking off several streets and making oneway traffic was /mentioned by Committeeman Bowler but fellow members felt that it would be a difficult decision at best.

As far as the law regarding school attendance is concerned, Superintendent Lincoln D. Lynch reminded the Committee that 180 days are required for high school pupils but only 160 for elementary grades. The latter group has used up five days including today, leaving 15 more possible holiday sessions still within the law.

Curran stated as his reason for opposing the closing of the elementary schools the belief that the children would be in less danger going to and from school than playing about their homes all day. He also contended that the schools should be left open for those who wished to attend, thus leaving the responsibility of attendance up to the parents.

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Since the Committee will hold a Special Meeting next Monday evening it is likely that a discussion will be held at that time on the advisability of resuming school for the elementary grades.

January 27, 1948 – The Norwood Messenger