From: Winnipeg, MB
Here in NE corner of Tennessee we closed schools early today (after just 2 hours due to wind chill factor in afternoon) and most are closed tomorrow. Not because of snow this time, but because the little urchins cannot stand outside at 6am for the school bus when temperature are in the single digits (F). School fear getting sued if something happens is what lifelong locals tell me.
childhood spent in upstate New York and walked about a mile to elementary school
Growing up in Iowa, many rural districts would cancel school when my urban district did not. It was quite common.
There was a hard and fast rule for how cold it had to be for the urban district to cancel. If, at 5AM, the temperature was below -10' F or the wind chill below -30' F, there was no school.
Schools were cancelled around here today, and for tomorrow as well in some cases. The temperature is an issue. We only got 2 inches of snow, or thereabouts. People in these climes just don't have the necessary winter gear to deal with it and frostbite is a real risk.
Around here the rationale for school bus cancellations in rural areas during very cold conditions was that if the bus broke down or got stuck it could be a while before anyone came to rescue the kids. At that time there were no cell phones and farmers did not travel to town every day during winter. Whether the cancellation was really about caring for the kids or fear of getting sued is another discussion!
No matter how bad a situation is, you can always make it worse. - Chris Hadfield : An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth