Making the decision to cancel school in E. TN

Knoxville (WVLT) -- Wednesday morning's snow could not have come at a worse time for schools and parents.

Even as students were on their way to school, decisions were still being made about whether or not to close.

Volunteer TV's Rob Pratt has more on how two area systems made the decision.

For Knox County, the decision was go.

In Oak Ridge, it looked that way for a while, but the bus ride to school turned out to be a round trip back home for many.

In Knox County the snow was coming down hard as students got off the bus at Pond Gap Elementary.

One look at the closed Gay Street Bridge indicates how bad even some city areas became.

School spokesperson Russ Oaks says with many students already at school, the decision was made to stay the course.

Even after a couple of bus drivers called to say they did not feel safe on a few roads.

Oaks says, "We'll ask our principals to liberally apply the excused absence policy for today, as we go forward, so nobody is unjustly punished because a bus ran late or did not run at all."

While school was in in Knox County, students in Oak Ridge had to find something else to do today.

Kindergartner Jolie King left the public library with a plan, "Play with my pets and read my books."

But it's parents' plans that were really disrupted by a last minute school closing.

Michaela Miller and her two young sons were getting in the car to go to school when a neighbor stopped to tell them schools were closed, "I'm lucky because I have parents in the area so they were able to help me out."

Oak Ridge School Superintendent Thomas Bailey spent the morning watching the forecast.

When bus drivers reported worsening roads, he made the decision to send students back home immediately, "We'd be better off making arrangements to get the children home now than at one or two o'clock when we didn't know if we were going to have more extensive snow on top of what we already had."

While most students take buses or ride with their parents, some actually walk to school, no matter the weather.

For safety tips on that, click on the Kindervision feature.


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