We now return you to your to regularly unscheduled winter break, with limited educational interruption.

Thanks to the snowpocalypse we have here today - or perhaps the breathless build-up to this veritable new Ice Age - Charleston County kids are out of school for the seventh of 21 weekdays this month.

That's one-third, folks (not counting that two-hour delay a couple of weeks ago).

And you thought December was vacation time.

Of course, some of this can't be helped. Jan. 1-3 was the end of the real winter break, and who is going to go to school on New Year's Day?

Same with Martin Luther King Day (Jan. 20).

But throw in back-to-back teacher training and in-service days before the long King Day holiday, and it just looks bad - especially when schools have to be out again thanks to this winter Armageddon.

When are we supposed to teach all these kids that global warming is a bunch of baloney?

Nobody's snowing you

To understand the scheduling decisions made at 75 Calhoun, you have to go behind the scenes of those long messages that show up on your answering machine.

Why did the district even bother with a half-day of school on Tuesday? And why did they go to the trouble to point out that lunch would be served?

Well, the kids went to school for half a day so it would count as a day, and they don't have to make it up in, say, June. And since the End of the World Storm wasn't coming until late in the day, might as well get in some learning.

The hot lunch thing? Well, that lunch is the only hot meal some of the nearly 50,000 kids in the Charleston County School District might get all day. So it's important for some people to know.

Bottom line, Charleston County is a very diverse district. And some of these decisions that seem asinine to some people really make a lot of sense to others.

For instance: That two-hour start delay a couple of weeks ago? That was about letting conditions warm up a little bit for the 20,000+ students in the district who stand at the bus stop in the morning.

And they probably appreciated it quite a bit, since few of our buses are rocking sauna-like heaters.

The transplants might think it's silly but, as you may have noticed, it's painfully obvious that we aren't built for this stuff.

Road hazards

January has been frustrating for the parents of public school kids, no doubt. Every week it seems there has been another will-they or won't-they go to class drama.

But cut Charleston County a little slack. It's not all the district's fault.

The five-day weekend just before MLK Day happened because the district wanted its teacher training to come at the end of the semester. And thanks to a state law that prohibits school from starting before the third Monday in August, they can't cram a full semester in before Christmas break.

Brilliant, huh?

Now, just as soon folks forget that, we have to take a time out for this strange unnatural thing called winter. And you can't really blame the district for having the good sense to not want buses on the road during this mess. Some of us simply can't drive in these conditions - even if half of us are from Ohio.

Besides, who expected this?

"Does anyone really want us to plan a school year with built-in snow days in South Carolina?" says Charleston County School Board Chairwoman Cindy Bohn Coats.

Probably not, except maybe that guy walking around out there today asking, "Where's your global warming now?"

Reach Brian Hicks at bhicks@postandcourier.com