DURHAM COUNTY, NC - A North Carolina school district is under scrutiny after opting not to cancel classes Monday following Hurricane Florence.
Durham Public Schools reportedly made the decision to operate on a normal schedule Monday. Neighboring counties closed schools.
Video posted by a parent on Facebook showed a school bus traversing a flooded street. "Yeah not putting my daughter on the bus!! Don't know how this is safe!," the post read in part.
The school system responded this morning, saying:
Durham Public Schools was in contact with city/county Emergency Management yesterday and reviewing weather/road conditions since 3:30 a.m. today. We had every indication that this was a good day to open school. When weather advisories were issued and conditions began to deteriorate, buses were already en route to school. In such situations, it is generally safer for our buses to bypass flooded roads and bring students to safety at our schools, which are secure facilities. We are continuing to monitor and respond to this morning’s weather conditions.
A second statement was released later, which said:
Although we made the best decision we could with the information we had this morning, we are sorry to our families and staff for the difficulties that came from our decision to open school. We have consulted with city/county Emergency Management. We anticipate that flooded roads will subside during the afternoon and plan to complete the school day on the regular schedule. Our Transportation department will route our buses around any remaining impassable roads. Durham Tech is closing early, therefore Middle College will be dismissed at noon today. There will be no athletic events tonight. We appreciate all DPS teachers and staff, especially bus drivers, for helping to keep our students safe, and are directing our principals and supervisors to work with staff who were unable to come to work today.