Schools close, kids on some buses, parents upset

By Gene Petriello - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – The conditions on the roads did get worse as the morning went on. Snow started to slowly come down just after sunrise in Henrico and Chesterfield. And that quickly mixed with some sleet and freezing rain. So around 8 a.m., after talking with each other Henrico, Richmond and Chesterfield put the brakes on these buses for the day.

But student Zach Wright was already at this bus stop and on a Chesterfield bus, when the call to close school was made.

"We got on the bus. And then the bus driver started yelling get off the bus. No one knew what to do. So, we just got off the bus," Zach said.

His mom, Lisa, already left Zach for the day. She's upset about what she calls a late call to close school that left her worrying for her son's safety.

"Parents have departed from the parking lot from dropping their kids off," she said.

Zach got a ride home from a friend. But Lisa wants something done, to prevent this from happening again. Shawn Smith with Chesterfield schools says the decision to close was made after some students, like Zach, were on buses. A decision leaders here call difficult that impacted thousands.

"Notified by police and VDOT the weather conditions were rapidly changing so obviously it's about the safety of our students and the staff, a top priority," Smith said.

Zach did say the bus didn't leave right away. Chesterfield leaders are looking at what happened this morning to see if any changes need to be made to county policies.

"Like we do with every situation, we constantly reevaluate the decisions we make to see where we can do better and make adaptations to those decisions," said Smith.

Richmond leaders say there were 9 total students on the 5 buses that were out. But those students were taken home by the bus drivers. Also, Henrico tells us no buses were loaded with students.

A decision schools, and whether or not they will open on Wednesday, will be made later today.

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