Local News

Icy roads hamper Granville County school buses

Posted January 23, 2014

— Granville County Schools was closed today due to icy roads but at least one parent questioned the district’s decision.

Pictures from school administrators showed a half-dozen roads covered in snow and ice across northern Granville County. They were concerned road conditions would not improve by late Wednesday morning, which led to the cancelation of classes, said Stan Winborne, Granville County Schools spokesman.

“We’re talking about maybe as much as one-third of our students could be affected by just the small roads in that area for the bus route,” he said.

Cecile Newkirk, a mother of two elementary school students who lives in northern Granville County, disagreed with the district's decision.

“This morning, there was no problem,” she said.

The affected roads are maintained by the state Department of Transportation (DOT), which contacted the district Thursday morning.

“Obviously they were curious why we closed so they checked in to see what our status was and to coordinate some efforts,” Winborne said.

DOT treated the trouble spots Thursday afternoon. While the agency’s priority are interstate highways and primary roads, DOT trucks dropped 500 tons of sand and salt in Granville County since Tuesday night, said Steve Abbott, DOT spokesman.

Canceling classes is not an easy decision, he added.

“But we do it always knowing that our absolute priority is the safety of our students and staff,” Winborne said.

Newkirk, the parent, is all about safety but doesn’t believe canceling school was needed.

“I don’t know about other parents but I was a little perturbed,” she said.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • wnpooh1022 Jan 27, 2014

    She might be perturbed. But she probably would have been the first in the lawyers office if her child had been hurt.

  • rrg41968 Jan 24, 2014

    Really? Seriously? How sad that she was "perturbed" over a decision that was made with EVERYONE'S well being at heart. Selfish doesn't even begin to describe her.
    Since Ms. Newkirk appears to know about every single road in Granville County, I'm sure that the administration will be in touch with her from now on when bad weather hits. Maybe she'd like to apply to drive a bus in bad weather. Applications are available at the bus garage.

  • krickie3 Jan 24, 2014

    I am thankful to Granville County schools for erring on the side of caution, it shows that our children's safety is truly their number one concern. Even if there are only a few bad icy patches in the whole county, they cannot risk putting busses out there. Please remember that public schools are not your babysitters!

  • twger1987 Jan 24, 2014

    Several years ago there was a wreck involving a student on the way to school on a morning that school should have been delayed or cancelled. This student ended up dying. There also was an incident when students came into school and were not sent home early for severe weather that caused students to be stuck in school and parents unable to get to them because of road conditions. The county as a whole has taken a more cautious approach to cancelling or delaying school taking these factors into consideration. Making up school or finding childcare is not a big deal when it comes to keep our children safe.

    -GCS 2nd Grade Teacher.

  • wvufan4life Jan 24, 2014

    I do not believe WRAL is getting the full story coming out of Granville County. Every year when we have bad weather, Granville County Schools are one of the last counties to go back to school. The real reason has more to do with the DOT than the county school system. When we have bad weather in the area, the Granville County DOT sends the majority of their crew to Wake County to clean their roads which means our roads get neglected. WRAL, if you want to do a real story and get to the bottom of this, do an investigation as to why a good portion of the Granville County DOT is sent to Wake County instead of cleaning their own roads. Once you get the answer to that, I believe you will find out what is really going on:-)

  • sunshine1040 Jan 24, 2014

    Inconvience is one thing but when your pay check depends on you getting to work and you have a child in 3rd grade you have a choice pay the babysitter,buy groceries or sit at home in the cold because you cannot pay the utility bills.

  • richardsonr6 Jan 24, 2014

    I really can't believe someone would question this decision.. I worked for the school systems and know that there is a lot of discussion before making a decision to close schools... They have to look at the county as a whole... you don't understand that people that live on the opposite end of the county may not have clear roads... Think of somone other than yourself and your inconvienece..

  • luvstoQ Jan 24, 2014

    NEWKIRK, so you were a little perturbed, eh? They can't please everyone. What would you have said if they had school and your child/children were on a bus that had an accident on some of those snowy, icy roads???

    Bet your tune would have been different then! Did you drive at day break on all the county roads to check for unsafe conditions?? Didn't think so, so maybe you should leave the decisions to those that do that and quit be so critical of there decisions.

    Drink an extra cup of coffee, relax, and be thankful for 'wise' decisions for your children by 'others'!!!!!

  • lovingmylife Jan 24, 2014

    I am also a parent in northern Granville County. I think the county made a wise decision. If you don't live on a main road, which we don't, then you had ice. I remember just a couple of years ago school was delayed and students were wrecking. When it comes to my family I'd rather be safe than sorry. It is inconvenient but so is something happening to one of my children. I would much rather have to make other arrangements for one school day than be making arrangements that can't ever be changed! Elementary schools were having early release because of report cards. Don't sweat the small stuff!!!!

  • wcash19651965 Jan 24, 2014

    “I don’t know about other parents but I was a little perturbed,” she said.

    Sounds extremely selfish to me. Your children are not the only ones in Granville County Schools. Look at those photos of road in Granville County. I bet most parents would be rather have their child safe than in an accident. Also if they had opened and an accident happened with our children, you would probably be angry that the school opened. You cannot have it both ways.