LEWISTON — The tweets started Sunday.

“Bill Webster I will shovel your driveway if you call a snow day tomorrow,” tweeted Ty, who, from his profile, appears to be a Lewiston soccer player.

“Hey, do my fellow peers and I a favor and cancel school tomorrow,” tweeted another student.

One warned against false hopes.

“There could be a blizzard outside and Bill Webster will still make us go to school.”

Another clung to hope. “Really relying on Bill Webster tomorrow or I’m sleeping my first two periods.”


Alas, there was no snow-day declaration from Lewiston Superintendent Bill Webster.

“THERE IS SCHOOL TODAY,” Webster loudly tweeted early Monday.

“Forecast is for two inches of dry snow during the day. “Check out this article on the injustice of it all,” Webster mused, tweeting a link to a New York Times column.

After the no-cancellation news spread on smart phones Monday morning, the tones of tweets turned from pleading to, well, not nice, as a few students unleashed their fury.

“Bill Webster, if I have even the slightest bit of trouble driving home from school, I will hunt you down,” one student tweeted.

Another tweeted, “Bill Webster basically made me fail first semester of Spanish.”


“There is no body I hate more than Bill Webster on this awful Monday morning,” tweeted a female student.

Another tweeted a photo of a car driving on a road encased by 25-foot high snow banks, saying Webster would still make them go to school in those conditions.

Webster took his Monday unpopularity in stride.

“I have a feeling that the majority of the tweets were from people interested that I call off school, students,” he said. “My reaction is I take them with a chuckle.”

He suspects some unhappy students had homework over the weekend and waited to the last minute. There’s nothing like the hope of a snow day to fuel procrastination, he said.

Weather conditions need to be more than snow for school to be called off, Webster said. “This is Maine,” he said.


He does worry about icy road conditions. At 4:30 a.m. Monday, long before students were up, he talked to meteorologist Matt Zidel. He checked with the National Weather Service and conferred with Auburn Superintendent Katy Grondin.

All indications were that snow would start after students arrived at school, there would be an accumulation of an inch or two. Slippery roads could happen after school was dismissed.

In the past two weeks Webster said he’s picked up 70 new Twitter followers. He suspects most are students who want to go right to the source for the “will-there-be-school?” news.

While many students pray for snow days, high school seniors especially like them. Unlike other students, seniors don’t have to make up a snow day, Webster said.

Webster is a prolific tweeter who has encouraged other school leaders to tweet.

Even though some of Webster’s tweeting traffic Monday included some that would generate coal from Santa, tweeting serves several purposes, Webster said.


It allows him to share general school news. He’s quick to praise teachers and students or share policy decisions from Augusta.

Tweeting helps him educate. When he travels he tries to find some educational component and shares it, hoping it may expand horizons for some who haven’t traveled.

And tweeting helps him stay connected to students.

“The challenge is not to have it be a burden, but to have a little fun, have a sense of humor and a dialogue with students, which is nice.”

On most days.


[gallery ids="3089725" link="file" size="medium"]

Comments are no longer available on this story