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Parents frustrated schools didn’t delay

Like many parents, Amber Johnston spent most of her morning looking out her window, checking her messages and checking the news, waiting for her kid’s school to close or even go on a delay. “It definitely wasn’t safe conditions out this morning.  When I looked out the window I thought for sure there would be at least a two-hour delay but I was really surprised when there wasn’t,” said Johnston.

“I was surprised, I mean I thought they would at least get a two-hour delay,” said Andy Smith. He kept his kids home because of the weather. “We didn’t feel right about letting them go on the bus this morning. It just didn’t seem like a good idea, it didn’t seem safe. We just wanted to play it safe and take a snow day,” said Smith.

Johnston kept her daughter home after her bus was over an hour late. “My son’s bus came as scheduled, but my daughter came back knocking on the door about 45 minutes later. She was red as a beet, she was cold, so I told her to forget it, stay home. I was pretty upset we didn’t get any phone call, normally they’re really good about that,” said Johnston. “They should have definitely made a better call I think.”

Parents spent most of the morning complaining to school districts throughout York County by phone, Facebook, even Twitter.

Fox43 made calls to several school districts, Dallastown was the only one to respond.

Superintendent Dr. Ronald Dyer said the weather changed after he made the decision to open on time. He sent this statement, “I apologize for the situation this morning.  I don’t want to cast blame, though. It was my decision,  based on the discussions and information I received from our weather service between 4:30 a.m. and 5:37 a.m.  Certainly, weather conditions change. But, when we’ve made changes to schedules once buses start rolling – for example, calling a delay or changing a delay to a cancellation after 6:00 a.m. – confusion results. Despite our best efforts, not everyone gets the updated message and we receive a lot of complaints for that, also.  Again, I am so sorry about the situation this morning.”

9 comments

  • guest

    My husband and I were shocked as well. Our oldest is an LIU #12 student therefore his travel is longer than most Central students and his van driver said she most definitely would of delayed or closed due to road conditions. Many individuals said "it's just wet and slushy" but when you're dealing with children's lives and adults who can't drive in snow to begin with, it's a dangerous combination. Next time go to school during rain (was calling for snow) and stay home or delay for snow.

  • seriously

    I find it interesting how the Superintendent that did respond chose less confusion over the safety of children. So glad he is not in charge of my kids district. There was no need to cancel completely by 10am the roads where mostly wet therefore a 2 hour delay would have been so much better and they would not had to worry about making the day up.

  • D-town Parent

    By the time the snow started, it was late and buses were already on the roads. Parents would complain no matter what option was taken…..that just want some of them do. My kids made it to school on time and has no issues, no snow day to make up.

    • Linda Larson

      Thats a rediculous statement. The snow was coming down hard at 5:00 am, plenty of time to delay or close. An Eastern District bus got stuck trying to climb a hill
      near my house. It took about 15+ minutes to get out.Better safe than sorry about
      an accident.

  • Concerned parent

    Yes, the back roads were bad this morning, I don't understand why there was no two hour delay, i am in the annville-Cleona School district. No school has to be made up for a two hour delay, i think they jeopardize the children's safety. My grandson lives on a back road also and his school-Elizabethtown school district did not delay either, but the bus ran late this morning..

  • Mcruz

    Yes a few weeks ago there was absolutely NO snow on the ground here in Lancaster and they closed schools!! However we wake up to snow covered roads this morning and they don't even have a delay!! School system sooo messed up!!

  • Heather

    Face it, last time schools cancelled for no reason. What happened, everyone complained. This time it actually snowed and they sent them to school. What happened, everyone is complaining. I am not sticking up for the school superintendents, but I watched the weather newscast and thought we weren't getting anything. High school students leave very early my daughter at 6:30. Before you blast your school district, decide if you would make the correct call every time. Hind sight is 20/20. They don't have that opportunity of hind sight.

  • peter cottontail

    all i have to say is a hour delay should have been put up the night be4 !!then decide what to do in that extra hour they would have had !!!!!!!lack of caring about our childrens safety !!my kids didnt go!!if they try to say its tardy !!i will start a petition for someone's firing !! sighned a dallastown parent

  • MyTakeOnIt

    Ya'll get panicky about snow. 20-30 years ago, snow less than 3" was no problem. Pennsylvanian kids walked to school or the bus stops. They knew how to walk and did not have cell phones. They/We had boots and hats not flip-flops and iPods. No problems. Leave early. Lateness in these cases was acceptable. IF there was some sort of bus accident, it was a dinger. Buses are heavier than cars and can take snow better, especially with drivers who were accustomed to winter driving year after year. You have concerns? Keep your kid home. You have that choice. You are over-sensitive about all things "safety", then don't drive, don't walk in it, stay home. Stop whining. People understand if you make that choice and get the lesson/homework over the Internet.

    Your particular local road in your development or on your hill does not make primary and secondary road travel hazardous. Those are the roads that are looked at by schools. 30 years ago, the Transportation Directors would travel various roads at 4 and 5 am to determine safety and advise the schools. Now, the Supers make the decisions based on their car travel, reports, and talking amongst themselves about the fury of the parents, not heeding solid advice from the professionals who are in charge of the transport. But then again, 1/2 of you drive your kids every day instead of letting them walk a few blocks or letting them ride the big yellow buses that are made of strong steel outside and soft cushions inside. You know that rain also makes travel slick and uncomfortable?

    The only thing I am surprised about is the Supers did not panic and cancel. Probable reason: Snow days already well used up and school is going farther into June. Last time they looked foolish as the sun shone brightly on a dry afternoon pavement.

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