Peter 'Fish' Case: Threat of lawsuits has made us soft

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Now, you can get upset with me, that's fine. Can someone explain to me exactly when we got so soft? When did we start being concerned about kids waiting outside for the bus when it's minus 5 degrees out? I ran out to my car before I started this week's column to still make sure it said Vermont; it did. If I ran outside and it said Arizona, I could maybe justify a 2-hour delay so that it can warm up to 2 degrees. But I'm sorry, this where we live and baby it's cold outside!

I can understand a two hour delay for bad roads, there's a real danger there. Although I can remember very few snow days when I was growing up. Honestly, unless said snow storm dumped enough snow to create a t-shirt espousing a proclamation that you survived it, you went to school (for the record, I did own a "I survived the blizzard of '78," and for the record, we had consecutive days off). But now, when the forecast for snow exceeds more than three inches a panic ensues, we loot the grocery stores, hunker down and wait for the landscape to turn white. When I was a kid and there was a forecast for snow my mother woke me up early so I could shovel Mrs. Casselaro's walk before I went to school, and if I had time, I could help Mr. Fisher with the end of his driveway (just help him with the heavy stuff, she'd say).

But we are now controlled by a world run by insurance companies and corporate lawyers. Not like the lawyers around here, decent hard-working people. No, corporate lawyers that write insurance codes that favor profit by reducing payout. And for that reason, they create panic by planting the idea that school districts could be sued by parents if their kid is cold waiting for the bus. Now, I don't know that statement to be accurate, I simply believe it to be accurate. The proof I offer is my own experience in the '70s and '80s, when, as I stated earlier, very little got school cancelled. Also, from what I can remember it had to do more with teachers being able to make it rather than school bus drivers being able to drive in it. Because, let's face that fact, if you drive a school bus for a living your focus is as dialed in as it can get! Nothing is going to break your focus!

So, let me get back to the question. When did we start creating such a generation of softness? Also, while I'm at it nobody, and I mean nobody, likes the two-hour delay, especially the parents and especially the parents that have to work for a living. If you're going to call it, call it. But a two-hour delay allows the school system to do whatever needs to be done to satisfy some paragraph in an insurance rider and I, for one (a person admittedly that isn't impacted one iota by any of it), am tired of it. Now, I'm not picking on the people that have to make that call, nope, not one bit! In fact, I have your back! I'm saying the things I think you want me to say, your proxy soap box as it were. So please, don't think that I blame any school administrator for this, I don't!

I blame the people that are sue crazy, the folks looking to get rich quick. This is where it all stems from, I'm sure. So, if we simply stop frivolous lawsuits maybe the kids could be out of school before July and we could put a silver bullet into the heart of the two hour delay. While we're doing that, we can build a generation that can rant every Wednesday in the paper. You see! I'm happy! What the Hell is Up with that?

Peter "Fish" Case is a man with an opinion. He offers up a weekly podcast discussion that can be heard at www.theearspoon.com. Questions, compliments and complaints can be sent to him at fish@theearspoon.com. The opinions expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect the views of the Brattleboro Reformer.

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