Wake County parents question school performance during storm
Some parents, students and teachers in Wake County complained that the school was held on Monday amid a storm system that brought high winds, heavy rain, flooded roads and later snow in the region.
Some school districts in the Triangle (Chapel Hill-Carrboro, Franklin County and Orange County) canceled in-person classes for Monday due to the storm. The decision by the Wake County school system to open on Monday on a regular schedule sparked a wave of complaints on social media from people who said it was unwise to have people drive to commute at school during the storm.
“I was just in the carpool lane at Wake Forest High School and witnessed a tree falling on a car,” Angela Carter tweeted at Wake Monday. “Huge pop and sparks coming from the power line above us. It’s an unacceptable time to have parents, teens and buses driving on the rides (sic). Make better decisions! “
Wake says there is no need to shut down
One of the most frequent complaints Monday morning was the lack of communication from the school district.
“We called to keep the children at home today on the safety advice of the National Weather Service and local authorities,” Chelsea Bartel, a parent, tweeted on Monday. “Incredibly disappointed with @WCPSS complete silence. “
Lisa Luten, a spokesperson for the school district, said district leaders determined there was no need on Monday to cancel in-person classes, delay their start or fire them earlier.
“The review of the situation this morning did not indicate the need to close the school earlier,” Luten said in an interview.
Luten said a delay wouldn’t necessarily have made schools safer. There is a window of almost two hours between the start of classes in high schools and elementary schools, so a delay may have only shifted the weather issues to a different group of students.
The transportation department did not report significant delays in the bus service, according to Luten.
Only one school in Wake, Green Hope High in Cary, was made redundant on Monday morning. School cited power outages to send students home at 10:15 a.m..
Some other schools have reported power outages but chose to lay off at their usual time.
Raleigh City Council member Nicole Stewart defended North Carolina’s largest school district.
“I support @WCPSS directors and their decisions ”, Stewart tweeted Monday afternoon. “They have a complete set of information to make the best decisions for our children and teachers, in a holistic way. “
Driving during the flash flood warning
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for Wake County until 3 p.m. Monday. Parts of Chatham, Durham, Franklin, Granville, Lee and Orange counties were also included in the alert, The News & Observer reported.
“Between 1 and 1.5 inches of rain fell in the last hour,” the forecasters wrote at around 6:45 am. “Additional precipitation of 1 to 2 inches is possible in the warned area. Flash floods are already occurring, with flooded roads reported at Chapel Hill. “
Some people on Twitter noted how Wake asked people to go to school at a time when emergency weather alerts told people to stay off the roads if possible.
“I almost died,” LaShonda Haddock, Magnet Program Coordinator at Millbrook High School in Raleigh, tweeted on Monday. “I get to work … a power outage on Wake Forest Road … rolled through 3 feet of water I couldn’t see … a large truck hit a puddle which exploded on my windshield … MY WIPER FALLED. ..
“When I got to the teachers parking lot, I just sat there crying for 10 minutes. “
This story was originally published January 3, 2022 9:04 am.