- Jessica Koscielniak / Sun-Times
- Would you go to school on a day like this?
The contrast between New York City’s newly elected Mayor Bill de Blasio and our very own Mayor Emanuel was never so dramatically displayed as when winter storms recently roared into their respective cities.
Mayor de Blasio was on the front lines, making sure the cameras caught him shoveling the walk outside his house in Brooklyn, according to the New York Times.
“Get low, scrape a little,” he instructed a television crew, demonstrating with his own shovel. “Rise up with your knees.”
You know, so you don’t put too much pressure on your back.
I was taking de Blasio’s advice as I dug out the snow that seemed to be forever falling over the weekend.
Think about that—the dude was in office for less than a week and he’d already done more for me than Rahm’s done in over two years. And he’s not even my mayor!
In contrast, Mayor Emanuel was—well, we don’t exactly know where he was as snow and freezing cold shut down our city.
He was either jetting back from his vacation in Indonesia, or still on vacation in Indonesia.
However, the mayor assured us that, wherever he was, he was in constant contact with city and school officials as they confronted the weather-related crisis.
I’ll bet. I can only imagine the behind-the-scenes meshugas as the mayor and his operatives argued over whether opening schools or keeping them closed during the cold would make him look better.
Since making the mayor look better is what it’s all about. For all I know, they called David Axelrod and had him do a little polling.
Ultimately, they decided to split the baby, so to speak.
They issued robocalls to parents telling them schools would be open Monday, but attendance was not mandatory. Thus, parents were free to keep their kids at home as temperatures dropped well below zero.
Oddly enough, the decision contradicted the mayor’s previous every-day-is-sacred policy regarding school attendance.
If you recall, he invoked that tenet when parents and students threatened to boycott a day of school to protest his cuts and closings.
“I don’t think we have a day, I don’t think we have a minute. I don’t think we have a year to waste when it comes to the education of our children,” the mayor said back then.
So, Mr. Mayor, tell me this . . .
If every minute of every school day is sacred, how could you in good conscience allow parents to keep their children at home—even in bone-chilling weather?
I mean, you wouldn’t want the kiddies to miss a precious minute of boning up for the next standardized test you got cooking up for them. Right?
You know, I think this would make another great lesson for a high school civics class called What Is Mayor Rahm Really Up to With the Crazy Shit He Does.
A class I’d be happy to teach—even in a charter school.
Eventually, the mayor realized that maybe it wasn’t a good idea to send children out into the arctic cold and he decided to close the schools after all. Then he had his flacks say it was all a big misunderstanding.
That is, he had not, in fact, decided to close the schools because he looked really stupid for keeping them open in the first place.
Instead, he had decided to close them only after meteorological updates assured him that it really was going to be cold.
Got that, Chicago?
Of course, the checkout guy at the CVS had been telling me about the coming cold front for days. Hey, Mr. Mayor—maybe you should put him in charge of the schools.