Snow Day Mistake: Superintendent Regrets Not Cancelling Classes

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AVON LAKE, Ohio-- For Avon Lake Superintendent Bob Scott, hindsight is 20/20.

"Oh, absolutely. Yesterday, if I knew at 6 o'clock what I knew at 7:30, we wouldn't have been in school," said Scott.

Avon Lake was one of the only schools in Lorain County open Wednesday, despite over half a foot of snow in some parts.

"It looked like the snow was going to go out on the lake. Then, unfortunately, around 7:30 the snow moved back onto land from the lake and we got a really bad snow squall.  It got messy," said Scott.

The district was able to bus all students into school and home from school without any major problems.

Still, many parents were surprised their kids weren't kept home from school.

"I was definitely surprised because my son goes to the high school," said Bobbie George, parent.

"Everyone else was off yesterday. All you had to do was look outside and see it was horrendous," added Kelly Sleasman of Bay Village.

"In hindsight, we would have never sent the kids to school," said Scott.

According to Superintendent Scott, he's had anywhere from 20-30 emails and phone calls from parents wondering why he sent them to school.

On the flip side of that, Scott says he's also gotten phone calls from parents applauding his decision to continue class.

"Look, normally I think they make the right call. But yesterday was definitely a mistake," said George.

A mistake that Superintendent Scott said he will use when making future decisions about shutting down school.

He said, lesson learned. "If we do make a mistake, we want it to be on the side of caution. I, of course, take responsibility for the decision, whether good or bad. I don't like bad calls. And we will keep working harder to make sure we don't have them," said Scott.

Avon Lake has used four calamity days.

By the way, they are not alone.

The nearby Rocky River School District also had school yesterday and the superintendent also sent a letter home to parents, assuring them of their children's safety.

*CLICK for continuing coverage on the winter storms.


  • Ron

    Berea city schools messed up to , just a bad decision I guess .Was the worst snow this year lots of parents were upset they didn’t call it lol oh well

  • Maureen

    Parents can always exercise their right (and responsibility) as parents to not send their kids if they feel it’s not safe! The decision regarding whether our kids were out in dangerous conditions really is ours-we don’t have to wait for a school or another person to make it.

    • BeautifulGenius21

      Exactly! I’m the one that has the final say on whether my kids will stay home or not. I’ve called “Mommy Veto” 3x this year. When I called my kids off the school asked if they were sick. I said no…im keeping them home due to inclement weather. Its not rocket science.

  • Melissa Acosta

    I am glad that school was in session. What would these kids do if they had to WALK like we did in school. I walked over a mile to and from school and we did it all the time. I think instead of saying oops he should be saying the kinds need to learn and I am sorry but I will make sure your kids learn. I am not hear to be liked I am here to do a JOB.

    • ALStudent

      Actually MANY of us do walk to and from school. The sidewalks at the school were covered in snow and ice, and the parking lots were horrendous. Dangerous conditions for everyone are even more dangerous when a teen is behind the wheel, running late to school because they had to shovel themselves out of their driveway. A few of my classmates said they they nearly avoided collisions, and there were couple accidents.

  • Dawn

    Maureen is right, it is a parent’s right to keep them home. However, the days do count against them in their record, and they do miss instruction/school time. So no one wins if the parents have to call the shot on the weather.

    • cathy lawlor

      So what if the kid doesn’t get the Perfect Attendance Award for the year. Wouldn’t you rather he/she be safe?

      • Dawn

        I don’t think I made myself clear, and for that I am sorry. I would never send my kids to school in that condition. I was only stating that the parents shouldn’t have to pick between their attendance and their safety. I keep my kids home all the time, They have been homeschooled for the past year ;) Sorry for the confusion. I am one of the parents that keeps their kids home no matter what ;) However, I don’t think the kids should be penalized because the school board made a bad call.

        I never said it was right to send your kids sick or in bad weather. I was only stating that it is NOT right for it to count against them.

    • Rodger

      Presenteeism is costing millions of dollars a year. If you work sick, you get others sick. Would you want someone to come to work with cancer if it were contagious? So let me know when you add that line on your resume, did you include the 6th grade perfect attendance too?

  • Guillermo

    North Olmsted had school yesterday and I was okay with that as a parent of a freshman and a fourth grader.

  • Michelle

    I’m a parent in Berea and I am glad they had school yesterday. And everyone I talked too didn’t have a problem with it either. It’s Ohio folks. You should be used to the crazy weather already. Seriously. If you have a problem it dont send your child to school.

  • Lisa

    The people that complain today will be the same people that complain at the end of the school year when their child has makeup days. It’s Ohio people……You should be used to it! Make your own judgement call!

  • Larry Metheney Jr.

    Why do people have to complain about them not canceling school? If you feel it’s not safe then keep them home! You don’t need someone else to make decisions for you! You are a adult act like it!

  • Leigh Anne Baon-Lehmann

    for all you MOTHERS saying that we should be used to this weather and your glad your kids had school… try telling me that when the bus runs off the road killing your kid and then lets see you sing a different tune cause the Berea schools even say when you call the school that their vision to inspire excellence… Now do you think the school are being excellent when the kids have to stand in the weather and get sick? Not only that but if the schools are worried about to many snow days then eliminate President’s Day and Martin Luther King day… The kids don’t recognize these two holiday’s anyways, they just know they have off…..
    What do you think?

    • Michelle

      I totally agree. North Royalton had school and I was very upset with that decision once I personally was on the road. I called home told the kids go back to school it wasn’t safe for them on the bus. Last week Monday the school bus had trouble making it up our hill in the morning and after school the same day the bus slid backwards down the hill a little bit. Yesterday, I called the superintendent and voiced all of this. He did state he should’ve closed the schools but the roads weren’t bad at 0430. I think these patents aren’t thinking of the whole picture. We all can walk up hill both ways in a blizzard but that doesn’t make it safe to drive in.

  • Kaylee Sanson

    Actually to say something iam a student who lives in Painesville and school was in session for me also. I attend Thomas.W.Harvey High School. The weather was also horrible for us also.

  • OhioStudent

    “Oh yea they should have school in my day we had worse blah blah blah” …

    -Breaking news a student dies in a car accident due to the weather

    “Wow such a tragic thing, shouldn’t have had school. Stupid not to have a snow day, was obviously dangerous”

    Plus in general people are saying kids these days should study more, have all year school, less snow days, etc. and think their generation was better. Let me tell you something. The reason that the kids are not as “smart” or scoring as well as other countries is NOT because of these things, but because YOUR generation are TERRIBLE parents. The parents of today do NOT teach children respect, study habits, integrity, or any good habits. It is YOUR fault. The teachers cannot teach kids who do not want to learn, year round or not.

  • Geoff Hampe

    I agree with those that commented about bus accidents being a possibilty..we are a generation too of children not being taught respect, manners,etc. the problem also is that the comment that Bob Scott made about it being clear at 6:30 am was a bold face lie. I left for work at that time and my driveway and street had about 8 inches of snow on it, and yes Mr.Scott I live in Avon Lake. The roads were also hazardous! Why does the superintendent feel like a lie to the media is ok? Plus the high school parking lot was a mess and many children drive themselves to school when they get their license because there is NO bussing at the high school level. Let’s also mention that when the lot was plowed the snow was put up against the curbs so the kids had
    to climb over mounds of snow to even get on a sidewalk. Yes, I am quite aware that if parents were worried they could have kept them home or driven them themselves but the point is plain..IT WAS NOT SAFE to drive period!!!

  • B

    Actually, there were MAJOR issues with bussing. Including a bus getting stuck in the snow and tipping over, causing the children to have to climb out the windows and into another bus. Another bus got stuck on a side street where neighbors came out with shovels and snow blowers to dig it out.

  • Christina

    Right or wrong this time of year my kids leave before I do. I rely on the school to make an informed decision if the roads are clear and safe enough for the buses to be on the road. Tuesday a lot of district’s didn’t close schools. Maybe when they made the final call the conditions weren’t as bad as they became. I know some of the bus’s going to Strongsville High School were at least 30 minutes late. There were accidents everywhere. I also know students in Berea were walking to school on Bagly Rd because the sideways were not clear.

  • Tom

    So if you thought it was dangerous to send your kid to school that day and you disagreed with the “non call”,, why did you send your kid to school that day?,, I mean you’d be perfectly justified keep them home for a cold or dentist appointment,,etc, etc. ,,, why would you send them out there and then get mad and blame the School for them being out there? Time for us all to take personal responsibility for the decision we make,, next time say screw what the school says,, my kid’s staying home. My kids used to tel tell me this all the time,, when you point you finger at someone else,, you have three pointed back you.,, Bravo to Bob Scott for manning up and admitting the mistake. But don’t forget,, we all sent our kids out there.

  • Rebecca Easter

    Maybe you should have stepped up as a parent and kept your own child(ren) home if you thought it was so horrible and thought their safety was in jeopardy!!

Comments are closed.

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