Belcher Defends Decision to Keep Schools Open

8 years 9 months 5 days ago Thursday, December 16 2010 Dec 16, 2010 Thursday, December 16, 2010 6:40:29 PM CST December 16, 2010 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Public Schools Superintendent Chris Belcher said he did not regret his decision to keep school in session Thursday after an ice storm the previous night.

Some parents were upset with the move because they were worried it would be too dangerous to drive in the morning.

But, Belcher said the school took precautions necessary in order to ensure students' safety.

He said sidewalks and parking lots near all schools were pre-treated before the storm hit.

Belcher said CPS takes decisions like whether to cancel school very seriously because it can affect parents' work schedules.

"We always tell parents, if you think its unsafe, if you don't want to get out on the roads, there's no penalty or punishment [for your student]," Belcher said.
"We can get that work made up.  But, we do have 17,000 students and we have to consider all aspects."   

Before each winter storm, sixteen volunteers patrol Columbia streets before 5 a.m. in search of slick spots.  While they found some this time, Belcher said they did not find enough to justify cancelling school.

No one has been injured due to snow-day mismanagement on CPS' behalf, according to Belcher.

However, one bus accident occur Thursday morning.

A car slid into a bus near Thornbrook subdivision on Scott Boulevard.


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