Politics

Ice cleared from outside Obama daughters’ school, but not from public school across the street

Sidwell Friends School, the education home to President Obama’s daughters Sasha and Malia, made an exceptional effort to salt the icy sidewalks on campus Tuesday morning.

Exceptional, because some D.C. public schools failed to receive the same treatment, leaving treacherous pathways glazed over with hazardous ice.

D.C.-area journalist Daniel Wattenberg, whose own daughter attends the public school just across the street from the First Daughters, writes about this experience on TBD.com:

“I don’t know who cleared the Sidwell side, but I know somebody over there understood whose responsibility it was. As far as I can tell, it’s that accountability that was missing on our side of the street, where lines of authority were as uncertain as the footing. I asked the school’s principal who to call about the ice. ‘Parks and Rec,’ he offered without hesitation.”

Wattenberg goes on to suggest that while D.C. public schools and Parks and Rec both neglected to clear the sidewalk skating lane, parents too might shoulder the blame for not stepping out of the car and doing their part to chip away at Broken-Bone Lane.

The lack of clarity over who should have done the deed is what leads Wattenberg to this philosophical conclusion:

“The Hearst ice illustrates anew an old problem with socializing responsibility: When everybody’s responsible, nobody’s responsible.”