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Parents upset over late decision to close schools

By Nicole Bell - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Local school districts are taking plenty of heat from angry parents who say, the decision to delay or cancel school should have been made much sooner.

Richmond, Henrico, and Chesterfield schools made several last minute changes, in some cases, while students were being transported.

Visibility was nearly non-existent  when some  Henrico school buses began picking up students this morning.  It was a similar story in Richmond and Chesterfield.

 "I was appalled when the bus came to pick up a child in my subdivision because the roads were so severe," said Chesterfield parent Jeanne McGregor.

All three school district began picking up students just before 6 a.m.

"The weather forecast at that time suggested that we could safely transport students to school," said Chesterfield Schools spokesperson, Shawn Smith.

It was a tense bus ride for some Midlothian High school students.

"The ride it was slippery.  We have a lot of hills so we were sliding a little bit," said Chesterfield student, Mary Richio.

As the winter weather worsened delays were announced.  Then, between 7:15 a.m. and 7:45a.m. all three districts announced closings.

Some students were en route to school -- others had arrived.

"I'm glad that they are closed  for all of the kids safety, absolutely.  A little frustrated though, because I think they should have done it earlier," said Henrico parent, Kristen Gifford.

The last minute move left some parents and students scrambling.

"I decided to collect my daughter and her friends who's parents are unfortunately at work," said Chesterfield parent Kathleen Richio.

The school systems say safety is a priority.  They're apologizing to parents for the inconvenience.

"We're going to own that. We messed up this morning and we apologize for that, making it difficult for some parents," said Henrico Schools spokesperson, Mychael Dickerson.

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