What winter storm? According to New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina, Thursday is a “beautiful day” in Gotham -- despite forecasts predicting a foot of snow by the end of the day.
“It has totally stopped snowing. It’s absolutely a beautiful day out there right now,” Farina said during a news conference held Thursday morning by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who defended his decision to open city schools. Freezing rain and snow were falling during the news conference, according to the New York Post.
“There is the illusion you can have perfect information and perfect decisions,” de Blasio said. “We made the right decision.”
But everyone from parents to teachers to students disagreed with the mayor. Some vented their anger on Facebook.
“This is an UNSAFE decision. Even if I wanted to keep my kids home, I couldn't because I need to teach at another school myself. You have issued a hazardous travel warning. You are decreasing bus service by up to 20%. The last forecast I saw has snow coming down in the morning at a rate of 3 inches/hr, followed by ice. I don't think it is rational to put a child on a school bus in conditions like that. Please reconsider your decision. Allow families to stay safe during the storm!” wrote Anna Upston on the New York City Department of Education Facebook page on Wednesday night.
“This is absolutely ridiculous, dangerous and dumb. Great track record DOE. I mean, why worry about kids freezing in the snow or how your teachers and staff are getting safely to and from school when you can just close your eyes? Absolutely appalling,” added Rosemary Valenta.
The school system did suspend after-school and PSAL activities, but a post on the Facebook page announcing that decision was just met with more criticism about the decision to keep schools open.
“Schools open in NYC is a disgrace! Disgrace!” said Ann Lipshie Zisser.
“Can't believe schools are open!!...ridiculous!! my kid was 1 of 5 children that showed up this morning .. the only reason he went was because we live a block away... his incredibly dedicated teacher who showed up, will have to drive all the way back to long island from Brooklyn in this storm!! .... a real shame to put our teachers and children in such dangerous situations : (,” said Casey Leigh Carty.