Northwest Horizons

GCS snow day decision enrages Northwest

Drivers+scramble+to+leave+the+parking+lot+following+dismissal.+Traffic+jams+and+wrecks+ensued+due+the+county%27s+neglect+to+call+an+early+release.
Drivers scramble to leave the parking lot following dismissal. Traffic jams and wrecks ensued due the county's neglect to call an early release.

Drivers scramble to leave the parking lot following dismissal. Traffic jams and wrecks ensued due the county's neglect to call an early release.

Celia Bennett

Celia Bennett

Drivers scramble to leave the parking lot following dismissal. Traffic jams and wrecks ensued due the county's neglect to call an early release.

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Though forecasters were predicting a light dusting at the most, the snowfall this past Friday exceeded the expectations of many, including Guilford County Schools. Total snowfall hovered around two inches in most parts of the county, freezing at the bottom to form slippery roadway conditions.

To the dismay of many students, parents and teachers, GCS made the decision to keep students in schools and dismiss at the normal time, rather than releasing early.

“I thought it was a really poor call on GCS’s part because I could literally see the snow starting to stick to the road,” senior Caroline Mast said, “GCS should have either gone ahead and called school off or let us out early. It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

Some administrators have received special commendation for their actions that afternoon.

I saw one kid with rear-wheel drive who couldn’t even make it up the small hill to get to the main road,” junior Matthew Brewbaker said. “Thank God for Mr. Webb, a brave man who faced the harsh Mother Nature for an entire hour just so we wouldn’t all hit each other on the main road.”

GCS’s official statement in response to the incident was not well-received, either. In the wake of superintendent Mo Green’s resignation and replacement by Sharon Contreras, some have taken to comparing Contreras’ actions to those of her predecessor. Traditionally, Greene was more willing to call for early releases or delays in response to inclement weather.

“We anticipated having students home before any significant accumulation occurred,” GCS Chief Operations Officer Scott McCully said in the statement. “Knowing what we know now, we probably would have made a different decision. We will continue to review our inclement weather procedures and make adjustments as needed.”

For some, that response was simply not enough.

They need to just admit that they were wrong and apologize,” Mast said. “It’s a terrible excuse for what happened and no one is buying it.”

After the danger parents, students and teachers faced on Friday, some are demanding a more deliberate response.

“It’s like [GCS has] no regard for our safety or wellbeing,” Brewbaker said. “We had busses going off the roads, students in ditches, students stranded who had to walk home. All while this is going on, they were too busy tweeting about dance recitals and all their ‘good works’ to even stop and consider the students.”

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GCS snow day decision enrages Northwest