Why did schools open on Tuesday? - KMSP-TV

Why did schools open on Tuesday?

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ATLANTA -

Many parents are wondering why school districts weren't better prepared for the winter storm that rolled through the Atlanta area on Tuesday.

More than 2 inches of snow led to thousands of stranded motorists on roadways and hundreds of students sleeping overnight in schools.

The National Weather Service updated its winter storm warning at 3:30 a.m. on Tuesday to include the metro Atlanta counties, prompting many parents to question why most area schools didn't close their doors.

Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Erroll Davis' team decided children should report to school since the forecast called for minimal snow. Davis told FOX 5's Aungelique Proctor on the phone that he opted for a staggered dismissal once the snow showers started falling.

When asked if he made the right decision, Davis said, "Obviously given all that happened, if I had known that we would have the gridlock that we had, obviously not. You can always improve your decisions."

Davis, Fulton Superintendent Dr. Robert Avossa  -- who had almost 3,000 students sleeping in schools -- and Cobb County Schools Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa  -- who had more than 300 overnight students -- have apologized to parents for the miscalculation. None of those three would talk on camera.

Dr. Avossa wrote in a statement, "I'm truly sorry for the inconveniences our families have faced and also for the distress they experience.

Dr. Hinojosa wrote, "We will learn from this experience and take what steps we can to prevent it from happening again.

But parents say DeKalb County Schools Superintendent Michael Thurmond seemed to have made the right call.  Although DeKalb students reported to school Tuesday, Thurmond and his top brass had a plan if the weather turned ugly.

"The key decision was to instruct our bus drivers after they completed their morning run to position  themselves strategically so they could move back to the schools to pick up the kids quickly and get them back home if in fact the weather deteriorated," Thurmond said.

All superintendents say they have learned a lot from this experience and they vow it will not happen again.

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