Schools blasted again for response to winter weather

Posted February 24, 2015

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— School leaders scrambled Tuesday morning when they woke to light but fast-falling snow showers.

In Moore County, schools were open and on schedule, much to the dismay of students who posted photos on Twitter of snowy roads. 

"Moore County Schools is monitoring the weather and will make decisions accordingly," Amber Rach, community relations advisor for the system said.

"Our current plan is to keep our children at school until road conditions are most favorable for their return home, which may be the normal end of the school day."

Parents had the opportunity to pick students up with no impact on their attendance records, Rach said, but that wasn't an option that every family could take advantage of. Most students spent the full day in school.

"I didn't want my kids to miss after being absent all last week," said Brandy Brown.

"But when I looked outside and the roads were getting worse and they said they're 'monitoring the conditions of the roads?' Get real," she said.

The school system did cancel afterschool activities. The Concept High School Forum, scheduled at Union Pines High School at 6 p.m., was postponed until Tuesday, March 10.

The superintendent said his team made the decision to remain open at 5 a.m. with forecast information they had at that time.

The policy in Moore County is that once buses start rolling, they do not turn back. 

Conditions on main roads improved by late afternoon, but secondary roads remained snow-covered and a number of fender-benders were reported across the county. At least one school bus was involved in a crash when a vehicle rear-ended it, but there were no reports of injuries to students on the roads.

In Durham and Wake counties, schools first posted delays before dawn but some students were already on their buses. By 7:30 a.m., with snow continuing to fall, both school systems canceled classes for the day.

A spokeswoman for Durham public schools said the system tries to balance safety and timeliness.

"We don't want to do that any more than kids or parents," she said about delaying or closing school. "But sometimes the weather conditions demand that we wait, consider carefully, and be prepared to change gears if needed."  

In Wake County, buses were also rolling when a two-hour delay was announced in the 6 o'clock hour. A spokesman for the school system Department of Transportation said buses would turn around and return students to their stops.

Nash-Rocky Mount students made it to class but did not stay. The school systems announced that it would dismiss secondary schools at 9 a.m. and elementary schools at 9:45 a.m.


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  • Kristin Byrne Feb 25, 2015
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    Where I grew up, we went to school unless there was 2 feet of snow on the ground. That's a terrible comparison.

    NC doesn't have the snow removal equipment that other states do, nor should they since significant snow fall isn't very common. Do you want your taxes raised in order to pay for new equipment? Because that's what would happen. Not to mention the school districts here are just too big. The weather can vary greatly throughout the county, especially Wake County. There could be 8" of snow in Garner, and nothing in Wake Forest. That's the nature of the beast. You know how we solve that problem? Raising taxes again.

    While I might find it silly how quickly things close down here, I understand why things are done the way they are. Better to be safe than sorry.

  • Shane Taylor Feb 25, 2015
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    One thing I hate about NC...OMG, snow!!! Where I grew up, we went to school unless we got over 6" of snow...Its called "Slow down, don't be a cry baby, and we can all arrive safely"...UGH, closing schools, businesses, etc is a joke.

  • George Costanza Feb 24, 2015
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    People aren't happy unless they're complaining. If your children are such an imposition on your personal or professional life then don't have them. Quit expecting the government to raise them and then complain when you don't agree with how they do it. Take your kids out of the public schools and home school them or put them in private school. The schools rely on weather forecasters who absolutely screwed this forecast up in a major way. The weather forecasters are the ones you should be upset with not the schools.

  • Mike C Feb 24, 2015
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    Why don't the parents use some common sense and take some responsibility? I mean, if you think it is to bad for the schools to be open then you(parents) need to take the responsibility of doing what you think is safe for your kids!

  • Matt Keegan Feb 24, 2015
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    I have yet to hear one complaint from parents regarding the schools. Now as for the weather forecasters, that may be a different matter.

  • Doug Bradley Feb 24, 2015
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    These kids and their parents will whine about anything now. Just go read the Wake County public school system's Twitter page. "You made me get up and put on my makeup!!!'

  • Jeff Snavely Feb 24, 2015
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    Schools blasted... by who?

    Sounds like a a news station deflecting attention away from their horrific forecast to me.

    I'm just happy someone wake up.

  • Sammy Macloud Feb 24, 2015
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    folks want perfection in weather forecasts. That's just so NOT a realistic expectation.....


  • John Dees Feb 24, 2015
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    The school system goes by what the weather people give them. They also go by what they see with their people driving around before school starts.
    It was not snowing at 6:15 this morning when the busses were running and the weather people were clueless (surprise surprise) Wake County made a goood call with the info they had.
    Weather people are not perfect, they will miss a prediction once or twice --------------- a week.

  • Deb Rodgers Feb 24, 2015
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    Yet Brian Rock was okay enough to take a selfie....LOL