CHICAGO — Chicago Public Schools are open despite a brutal bout of cold — and parents aren’t happy about it.
The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Chill Advisory that’s in effect until noon Friday, warning the dangerously cold weather would make it feel as chilly as 30 degrees below zero and frostbite could set in within 30 minutes. But CPS said it’s still expecting students to come to class.
That announcement didn’t come until someone tweeted at CPS, though, noting there’d been no announcement about if schools would be open.
“It’s on,” CPS tweeted in response at 5:53 a.m. Friday.
Parents and students quickly unleashed a flurry or tweets on the district, saying the tweet was “unprofessional,” came too late and keeping schools open was dangerous.
“My child will not be attending,” one parent wrote to CPS. “It’s too cold to walk for 20 minutes and we have no car.”
Another person tweeted: “Not all of us have cars. Not all of us have everything we need to stay safe in this weather. Some of us have an hour or more to commute on CTA. This is unfair and HARMFUL.”
CPS preheats its buildings and asks bus drivers to report in early during bad weather, and it only cancels school if there are concerns about students’ safety, according to the district.
“CPS performed a thorough assessment and worked to prepare our schools to safely receive students today,” a spokeswoman said in a statement. “While today is very cold, it’s just the beginning of winter, and as long as all the appropriate precautions are taken, schools will remain open so students can continue their learning and coursework without disruption.”
Friday is expected to be the coldest day of the year so far with a high temperature of just 5 degrees. But wind chill is making that feel even colder: As of 8 a.m., the area around Midway Airport was 4 degrees below zero and it felt more like 22 degrees below zero, according to the National Weather Service. It felt like 20 below zero near O’Hare Airport.
Even colder weather is expected next week.
Here’s how people reacted:
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