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Today's school closings and openings: Sometimes, you can't win

No matter if schools closed or opened today, there were unhappy parents and teachers.

Deciding when to close Georgia schools due to weather is an imprecise science. Fulton closed Friday, much to the chagrin of parents since the day turned out to be mild. Dozens of unhappy Fulton parents took to Facebook Friday to vent about the decision and the 11 p.m. alert.

Among the comments:

" It was crazy late. My friend's husband was standing at the bus stop with their 2nd grader this morning....a stranger had to tell them school was cancelled."

" Closing the school after 11 pm? Ridiculous. We drove our kids to school and had to turn around and find childcare."

"Such a joke! What weather report did these people see? I looked at all of the weather reports and at best Atlanta will see some form of precipitation late tonight or tomorrow morning. Having to find someone to watch the kids last minute while I go to work is so unfair when the other counties around us like DeKalb all have school. Because of their terrible mistake last year of not cancelling school when epic snow was actually forecast now has caused them to be way to reactive and quick to close down when, except for being chilly, it's a lovely day outside. Poor leadership at its best."

Today, Cobb, Forsyth and Cherokee closed. My kids went to school in Decatur, as did kids in Gwinnett, DeKalb, Fulton, APS and Clayton.

Proving school officials cannot win, Fulton's decision to open this morning prompted Facebook postings of snow-covered driveways and roads by people who felt schools should have been closed.

In Cobb , school officials called for a two-hour delay before 7 a.m, but, at about 8:45 a.m., decided to close. (Marietta closed its elementary schools but Marietta Middle School and Marietta High School are open, according to the district website .)

A Cobb parent sent the AJC this note. When she sent it, she was unaware Cobb, in fact, did close its schools.

Here is her note:

"Today all the moms in Cobb County are furious. I just got the phone call that schools were delayed by two hours at 7:13 am -- my kids are usually at school by then.

I got a text message from CCSD at 6:55, which is when the school bus usually gets to our subdivision. There are kids waiting out in the snow for school buses that are not coming.

Some kids even are out on school buses already! AND the announcement on CCSD website had the WRONG DATE on it, causing confusion!

There is a lot of snow so it is good the schools are delayed - actually they should probably be closed - but why such a late decision? Can you get AJC to cover this?"

I asked Cobb Schools for a response: Here it is:

The date was wrong for a few seconds, but was immediately corrected. The decision to delay, and then close, was based on weather information that was up-to-the-minute.

Early scout drivers in the transportation department starting around 3:30/4:00 AM determined the roads to be safe. As the temperature dropped and precipitation increased, the decision to delay and then close was made for the safety of all students.

Early pick-ups began as scheduled for high school magnet students and a few elementary students who have early pick-up. Cobb Schools had a very small number of elementary students who did arrive at schools.

Transportation and school administrators engaged in the process of delivering those students back home after contacting their parents.


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About the Author

Maureen Downey has written editorials and opinion pieces about local, state and federal education policy since the 1990s.