One Mad Day - Thursday 3rd March

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It was with disbelief when I heard that our school was open on Thursday morning. I went down there assuming that I just had not heard the school was closed and wanted to make sure that was the case, yet it was open! A Sixth Former's account of the strangest day at RMGS yet.
When I got to school on Thursday morning there was a sign stating that all students were to go to the hall. When I arrived at the hall at about 8.45 I estimated that about 3/4 of the school had managed to turn up. The hall was fairly packed, but there was space for more. Do to the disorganisation of the morning we were just told to write our names down on bits of paper to confirm that we were present.

Sixth Formers were instructed to go to the C floor, because it was too dangerous to enter the Sixth Form block. When I got there the entire Sixth Form was sat quite comfortably into two classrooms. About 6 teachers were told to "teach us". We were given a choice of what to "learn" and I went with Psychology. This lead to many students packing up and going because none of the subjects they studied were being "taught". A "useful" Psychology lesson commenced.

As the lesson was in C4, many teachers passed through, and they all had one thing in common; none of them saw the point in anyone being there. During the day I saw that most teachers were at a loss at what to do, as many had no access to their materials, hardly anyone was present, so there was no point in teaching anything useful. One teacher laughed at the insanity of it all and left one lesson saying "Madness, madness, madness." One teacher tried to see the bright side of things and taught a few students one of her amusing dance routines, whilst her close colleague went into a depression, banging his head against one of the classroom doors. He said the day was "a waste of everyone's time". Another teacher said it was "a complete farce" and he reckoned the only reason the school was open was to show everyone that our school was the best, as it stayed open whilst all the other schools in Medway were closed.

At break there was a tannoy announcement, with everyone praying that Mr Decker had finally seen sense. It stated that everyone was to go to the hall at break, where there would be hot food "available for purchase". The head was preparing to make money out of a small minority of the remaining students at school. Surely he would have made the food free? This also happened at lunch.

By lunch I had seen and heard it all. I witnessed students in manual labour, helping staff clear the paths of ice and snow. I heard a rumour that senior staff members were at school at 7am helping the caretakers clear the roads so cars could drive through safely. I saw the Sixth Form shrink from about 80 to about a dozen by lunchtime. I heard countless tannoy announcements instructing large numbers of students to go to be collected by parents. I heard how lower school lessons were organised resulting in English, Maths and Science classes being combined due to lack of staff. I also heard that the police were advising people to travel only if it was really necessary, so our school was going against the police. The whole day was a mess.

Towards the end of lunchtime the whole thing was starting to break down. People had had enough. Worst of all, the snow was falling relentlessly making conditions outside even worse. An announcement stated that all students were to go to the hall and afternoon lessons were suspended; yet the school still had not closed. Teachers, despite probably being on the side of the students, found it hard to calm the crowds. At this point, all Sixth Formers were told to go home. By this point most already had, and I was going to leave with or without teachers? permission by this time anyway. In fact, I don?t know why I stayed so long.

All the events that happened on that day all lead back to the same solution, everyone go home! It all boils down to a few key reasons why no one should have been at school on Thursday.

1. Dangerous icy conditions which could have resulted in injury.
2. Not even ½ the school were there, so a waste of resources and everyone?s time, no point in learning anything.
3. Every other school in Medway shut, why was ours still open, against the advice of the police?
4. Parts of the school closed off, preventing many teachers from accessing necessary materials.
5. The difficulty of loads of cars coming down Pump Lane to pick students up when the school closed, and many parents decided to collect their kids anyway.

I can think of only one valid reason why the school should have remained open, and that is if it was impossible for people to leave and they had to stay. However, it would still raise the question as to why the school was opened in the first place!

The head probably opened the school to show everyone that RMGS was the best. However, I think it has weakened his position in the school, as his decision to open it proved to be extremely unpopular. I would not be surprised if he comes under attack from waves of complaints and criticisms by staff, students, the Governors, parents and the authorities. He?s probably the sort of person who, when they have made their decision, they stick to it, no matter what.