I've been doing the Deminski & Doyle show with Joe Votruba while Bill has been out. It came up yesterday that even Joe, who is only 27 years old, never recalled his schools closing early due to excessive heat. In other words, this is a very recent phenomenon. At risk of sound like Get Off My Lawn Guy, may I point out that we dealt with what was thrown at us. When it was in the 90's, we turned off the lights, turned on that crappy fan on the pole, pulled the window shades down, fanned ourselves with whatever we had, and we tried even harder to focus. I remember writing assignments where the sweat from my forehead would land on the paper and smear the ink. I don't know of a single classmate who wasn't better off for it.

Better off because among all the things you learn in school academically, there are also things you should be learning about life. Among them, that your school work is like your job, and you don't walk off the job when things get rough. The beginning foundations of a strong work ethic are not only learned at home through chores but at school through perseverance.

These days, schools across New Jersey are shutting down early, staying open only long enough to count it as an official school day so that the year doesn't have to be extended. Just look at this list of schools that went to half days Tuesday because of the heat.

  • Edgewater School District
  • Trenton Public Schools
  • Hamilton Twp Public Schools
  • Woodbride Twp School District
  • Hillsborough Twp Public Schools
  • Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District
  • Manalapan-Englishton Regional Schools
  • Belmar Elementary School
  • Plainfield Public Schools
  • Scotch Plains-Fanwood Public Schools

Enough bubble wrapping our kids! Children are being taught it's okay to give up when things get hard. We're so worried our little snowflakes are going to melt at their desks that we're losing sight of why they're going to school in the first place. To live on their own. To not need us to protect them. How is that done? In part by teaching them to be tough. Closing schools because of hot weather does just the opposite.

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