Closing School or Staying Open A Tricky Decision

By: Robert Borrelli
By: Robert Borrelli

There has been some fallout from Tuesday morning’s heavy snowfall after some school systems decided to go-ahead with classes and others did not.

As a group of Brandywine school students’ rocket down a slippery hill on sleds, they yell, "Snow days rock!"

Brandywine School Superintendent Gary Rider said Tuesday, "There's no way to foresee that this squall was going to come and hit us the way it did."

After shoveling his driveway at 6AM, he went in and took a shower.

"Got a call from the transportation director about 6:45 and he says, 'Gary, we gotta' think about closing down school,' and I wondered what the heck he was talking about. I opened my garage door and there's four or five inches of snow there already."

Brandywine classes were called-off at 7AM, which is the latest that decision has ever been made.

However, South Bend School students had a regular school day.

Some moms were very unhappy with that decision.

Rickyea Stuckey says, "I think the kids should have stayed home. Weather is bad. It's too dangerous. Very hazardous and it's very cold."

Janet Russell commented, "Especially the kids that do walk to school. I mean trying to trudge through these sidewalks; some of them had to walk in the streets just to get around. They should have called-off school today."

The decision to go or not go to school for South Bend students is normally made early in the morning.

Superintendent Doctor Robert Zimmerman told us, "If you were out at 3:30, 4 o'clock this morning, it looked real good. And the timing on this particular storm created some real challenges."

Zimmerman says timing is everything. "At that point, we made the decision to go with school, and once we make that decision it's pretty important that we carry through with that," he said.

After South Bend students were dropped off Tuesday morning, bus drivers were instructed to go back and offer rides to kids who walk to school.

If South Bend parents thought it was too dangerous Tuesday morning and kept their kids home, they won’t be counted absent.

The superintendent says they'll be given an "excused absence" for Tuesday.


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