FAIRFAX, Va. (AP/WAVY) — Amid a social media backlash, Virginia’s largest school system is apologizing for its decision to stay open after an ill-timed snowstorm.
Snowfall that hit just before Tuesday’s rush hour created numerous delays and difficulties for school buses.
On Twitter, the decisions by Fairfax and Loudoun county schools to stay open Tuesday were roundly panned. The hashtags #closeFCPS and #Wayde — a reference to school system spokesman Wayde Byard, who delivers the news when closures are implemented — made the worldwide list of trending topics.
Later Tuesday morning, Fairfax County schools issued a statement apologizing for the difficulties that families faced Tuesday morning and saying that they made the decision to stay open based on the information available to them at the time.
Full statement on fcps.edu:
All activities scheduled in Fairfax County public schools or on school grounds for this afternoon and evening are canceled (Condition 6), including:
• afternoon preschool classes
• extracurricular activities
• interscholastic contests
• team practices
• field trips
• middle school after-school programs
• professional learning and training courses
• adult and community education classes
• recreation programs and community use by outside groups not affiliated with FCPS
A decision regarding tonight’s Capital Improvement Program public hearing at Jackson Middle School will be made later today.
FCPS afternoon preschool classes are cancelled today due to the inclement weather.
We apologize for the difficulties the weather caused this morning. Please know that significant area government entities were coordinating at a very early hour. The decision was made with the best information we had very early this morning. Needless to say, the conditions were far worse than anticipated.
Weather conditions are expected to improve around midday. At this time, we are planning to dismiss schools at their normal dismissal time, however, we are continuing to closely monitor the situation and will keep parents apprised.
We are aware that people are asking us to cancel school. Students are safest at school when parents have not had a chance to make alternate plans for their child’s return home from school. However, should you wish to pick up your child early, we will accommodate you.
Again we apologize for the difficulties experienced this morning and we thank you for your patience.”