This year’s all-too-real winter weather, while serious for many across huge swaths of the country, is becoming a case of life imitates art. The news that some students in Atlanta and elsewhere around the South had to spend the night in their schools brought to mind an episode of “The Simpsons” that seemed like something imagined by smarty-pants TV writers that was too cartoonishly absurd to ever actually happen.
In “Skinner’s Sense of Snow,” which debuted in December 2000 as part of the series’ 12th season, a freak snowstorm closes most schools around Springfield U.S.A., but not Springfield Elementary School, where Bart and Lisa attend. They show up at school, where most of the faculty have not made it in. Principal Skinner and Groundskeeper Willie guide the students through a day of bad cafeteria food, questionable educational films, and other hijinks before they all find themselves snowed in. The students go to sleep on cots before Bart leads a takeover of the school.
[Fox has finally begun to put episodes of “The Simpsons” on the Web, but this isn’t one of them.]
In Atlanta on Tuesday night, some 100 students spent the night at E. Rivers Elementary School, sleeping on cots in the school gym. Meanwhile, some 50 other students spent the night on school buses.
In Birmingham, Ala., some 600 students spent the night in schools.
“If you trust your teacher to take care of your child today, they will be taken care of tonight,” Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley told reporters. At Oak Mountain Middle School in Shelby County, Ala., where 201 students spent the night, principal Larry Haynes told the local Fox affiliate the students didn’t have to do homework. “We’re just in a fun mode here,” he said.
[The video wouldn’t embed for this report, but here is the link.]
A version of this news article first appeared in the Education and the Media blog.