Extreme cold keeps Labrador City schoolchildren at home

Extreme cold and blowing snow cancelled classes for some younger students in western Labrador on Wednesday, but some parents decided to keep their older children also at home.

Wednesday's temperatures plummeted to -43 C with windchill

Some schools in Labrador are closed on Wednesday due to extreme cold temperatures. (CBC)

Extreme cold and blowing snow cancelled classes for some younger students in western Labrador on Wednesday, but some parents decided to keep their older children also at home. 

"I looked outside and I didn't want to make my young fellow walk to school in it," said Mike Parsons. 

Peter Cumby normally walks to his high school in Labrador City, but on Wednesday, his parents let him stay home. (CBC)

Parsons' son, Peter Cumby, would normally walk to Menihek High School in Labrador City.  But with winds howling through the community, Environment Canada forecasted temperatures dipping to -43 C with the windchill. 

"Usually I never wants to go school, like any kid," said Cumby. "But today I really didn't want to go to school because I was afraid my neckwarmer would actually freeze."

School board has age-related policies

School closure policies for western Labrador state that windchill temperatures must hit -45 C to cancel classes from kindergarten to Grade 3, -50 C to cancel classes up to Grade 6, and -55 C to cancel classes for all grades. 

On Wednesday, kindergarten to Grade 3 classes were cancelled, but the school board opted to keep school for older students open. 

Whether you're in Grade 3 or Grade 12, your skin still freezes at the same time.- Brent Riche, Labrador City parent

"The way I look at it, whether you're in Grade 3 or Grade 12, your skin still freezes at the same time," said parent Brent Riche.

Riche said he would like the school board to update its cold weather policy. 

However, Cumby's parents simply took matters into their own hands, and gave him the option to stay home, saying that the conditions were just too extreme.

"I didn't think school should be open today, really," said Parsons.

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