Parents sound off after school districts forgo snow delays

Snowy conditions led to gridlock with parents dropping their children off to school in Bristol. (Danielle Pender)

Some parents in Bristol were furious with school officials following the lack of a delayed start.

A fast-moving clipper system rolled through the state on Thursday morning prompted close to 100 schools to issue delays because of slippery driving conditions.

Bristol opted to open on time and parents said it put their children at risk.

"[Thursday] morning I'm seeing buses sliding all down Peck Lane and I'm not going to put my kids in jeopardy," said Danielle Pender, a parent.

Pender said she kept her three children home from school rather than put them in what she called an "unacceptable predicament."

"There was snow all over the roads and knowing that the buses have to climb the mountains, I was not going to put them on the bus to go to school," she said.

Pender shared photos with Channel 3 that showed a gridlock of vehicles driven by parents trying to get their kids to school in the middle of the storm.

People sounded off on Facebook.

Brian Avery posted "How do you expect the school bus to drive in snow and ice when the roads are not treated, side streets have not been cleared. Common sense. Thoroughly disgusted."

Many also called the superintendent's office.

Dr. Susan Moreau said she spoke to Public Works and police earlier in the morning and was told conditions were ok to open.

"At 5 a.m. they said we were good to go on time," Moreau said. "Unfortunately the snow lasted much longer and we may have to change the time of the decision we're making to a little bit later."

The snow continued to fall until around 8 a.m.

She said it has been a lesson learned.

"Sometimes we know the night before that there is no way we can open in the morning, those are easy calls," she said. "This morning was not an easy call."

Moreau said she has to make the decision by 5:30 a.m. because that's when the buses need to start rolling out.

Surrounding towns like Plainville and Farmington also did not post delays.

Wolcott, however, was closed for the day after an original delayed opening.

Superintendent of Schools Anthony Gasper wrote a post on Facebook that said "Families & Staff: I know and appreciate that when a call goes out that we will operate on a delayed schedule that you all begin planning your day accordingly. The change in today's schedule from delayed to closed was necessary because of the way that the weather in Wolcott developed between the forecast at 4:30 this morning and the actual weather at approximately 7:00 AM. At the earlier time, the prediction was for flurries with little accumulation and little impact. Two and a half hours later the impact was obvious. While I know that such a change causes an inconvenience to you, it was necessary today in the name of safety and that will always be our first priority."

Copyright 2017 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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