Parents upset after schools stay open in Newington - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Winter Storm Barbara

Parents upset after schools stay open in Newington

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Students in Newington had school on Friday. (WFSB) Students in Newington had school on Friday. (WFSB)

Winter Storm Barbara caused a snow day for hundreds of Connecticut students, however Newington stayed in school on Friday.

Emails and phone calls have poured into the Eyewitness News room with parents complaints. Parents stated they were not happy with the decision.

“Overall it wasn't a good choice,” parent Sandra Salvatore said. “Newington could afford a snow day. It was pretty bad. I don't think many people anticipated it would be this bad, but most schools were closed.”

Newington Public Schools lost power on Friday morning while students were inside the building, authorities confirmed.

However, the superintendent said the high school has had power issues for years because they're somehow connected with the neighboring veterans’ affairs hospital.

The superintendent said the lights flickered for less than a minute.  However, some students told Eyewitness News the power went out multiple times and people were complaining inside the building.

The administration said they went to generators and the power was restored in the building before 9 a.m.  Students had a normal day of classes.

“When I got to my English class, there was like three or four people and then sat on my phone for the rest of the day,” junior AJ Bernardo said.

“Half the grade was gone, they were gone,” eighth grader Nick Salvatore said. “And we had tests today.”

Newington Superintendent told Eyewitness News he believes he made the right call, especially since the snow stopped falling before students were dismissed.
However, not everyone agreed with his decision.

“In pretty much every class there was at least five or six people absent,” eighth grade student Jake D'Eruso said.

The school bus company has special traction on their buses and handled way more snow then what was dropped in Newington on Friday.  The bus company says they had 40 routes and all, but four got to school late by less than 15 minutes.  

For walkers, it was a tough commute home.

“All you can see there is snow covering the sidewalks, it's going to be hard to get home and they don't provide a bus home for any of us,” junior Cassandra Moree said.

The superintendent said no one was injured and all the students were safe during the school day.

“I do think it’s a safety issue. I know a lot of parents pick their kids up today early because they don't want them on the bus,” Salvatore said. “It’s a lot of liability.”

When it comes to ice, the superintendent said he doesn’t mess around and will be the first to cancel school.   

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