Forest Park’s public elementary schools were open on Monday and on Tuesday. So was the Forest Park library. And that made our local institutions rare birds on days when virtually all schools and libraries across Chicagoland had closed their doors in the face of truly extreme weather conditions.

We understand the case for closing. It was dangerously cold. Cold for kids, for parents, for bus drivers, crossing guards, teachers, lunchroom staff and superintendents. If it was an option for parents to stay home and shelter their kids then that was likely the wise choice. And clearly many parents did just that on Monday.

But there are parents in Forest Park who had to go to work on Monday. And for those taxpaying parents, their public schools were open, providing safety, warmth, security. We applaud District 91 and its staff for providing that essential public service. We offer the same thanks to our library staff which opened their doors as scheduled and provided the same public benefits to people who needed service whether that was a warm place to rest on a bitter day, an after school respite, or a place to check out a book or access the Internet.

Just as we praise the exemplary work of Forest Park’s public works crews who battled an extended period of snow just ahead of the arctic blast, just as we thanks our cops and our firefighters for being there during this extreme weather, we thank our teachers and librarians for doing their work in support of Forest Park children and adults in need of help.

Forest Park is proud to be a plucky town where hard-working people show up and do their best. This week proved that point.

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