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Parents Upset About School District's Delay Decision

8:18 PM, Jan 16, 2014   |    comments
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GREENSBORO, NC -- Some parents of students in the Guilford County school system are upset the district made a decision to delay schools Thursday morning without first waiting to check road conditions.

The decision came before 11 p.m. Wednesday night on the district's twitter page.

Many were surprised by the decision since weather forecasts weren't predicting extreme conditions though there were mentions of potential black ice. 

A flurry of responses quickly started on the social media site - some coming in Thursday morning when students woke up and found the roads dry and skies clear.

Olivia tweeted: "Look at all the snow. Isn't it lovely?"

Aaron asked, "So, the 2 hour delay was because of clear skies?"

The school district made the same decision as those in Stokes, Surry, Yadkin and Wilkes counties made but, somehow, the backlash here, has been a bit harsh.

"I feel like it was really unnecessary," said Ericka Watkins. "I really didn't think there was a need for a delay. It wasn't even that cold." Watkins says the delay made her later for work.

"It doesn't make any sense," added Venise Graves, who was dropping her grandchildren off at Rankin Elementary.

Some parents say not only was the delay unnecessary, it was also inconvenient.

"I was like, 'oh my God. Two hour delay. What am I going to do' because I have class at 9 o'clock," Graves explained.

Graves missed her first class at Forsyth Tech in order to take her grandchildren to school on the delayed schedule. "With them being on a 2-hour delay I have to find out how they are going to get to school. I know the bus but I can't leave a 7 and an 8-year-old home by themselves till the bus picks them up."

In the past, the district has sometimes waited to check road conditions at 3 A.M. before making the call to close or delay schools.

This time, Jeff Harris, the district's Transportation Director, says they made the decision based on forecasts.

"Our parents have asked that we make the decision to delay or cancel school as early as we can and if we can make that decision the evening before, that really gives our parents a lot of consideration," he said.

While some parents maintain the district made a bad call, Harris is sticking by the decision.

"We're going to make a decision based on the information that we have. And, we're going to err on the side of safety, always," he said.

After the announcement about the delay Wednesday night, the school district also tweeted that "exams were postponed until Friday.

But Thursday morning, officials clarified, saying only the "state exams" were postponed and students still had to take their mid-term exams.

Several student tweeted back, saying they stopped studying, when they saw the announcement.

As for why the district didn't make the distinction in its original tweet, officials responded with a tweet - which reads: "Big apologies for [the] confusion this morning--we share the best info we have at the time and try really hard to provide accurate info."

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