Petition criticizing Roswell school districts decision not to close school during storm circulates

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ROSWELL N.M. (KRQE)- A high schooler is lecturing his superintendent about safety and wise decisions. He’s angry because when other school districts around the state were closing last week because of icy roads his school stayed open.

Now he’s using an online petition give his district an earful.

The roads Friday morning in Roswell were snow packed and icy. Police say the conditions led to more than two dozen crashes, including two separate accidents involving school buses.

While many parents and students thought they’d be getting a snow day, all RISD schools remained open.

“For the kids safety and the parents self you know peace that school should have been closed just cause it was dangerous for everyone,” said Monica Johnson, who lives in Roswell.

A Goddard high school student started this online petition to “condemn and address RISD’s recklessness.”

The petition states that this forced students and parents to get out in the snow, and drive on slick roads. This endangered the student’s lives and was a reckless move.

Some parents, like Tonya Roberts, agree. They can’t see why the district did not close down for the day.

“My opinion it was too dangerous for parents to be on the roads trying to take kids to school,” said Roberts.

Superintendent Tom Burris says that it is a tough call to make and that many factors go into canceling school. He says when the decision was made early Friday morning to keep the schools open, the roads were still okay for driving.

“We were caught with information that we had and made having to get this giant machine off the ground early in the morning and it was at a point where you can’t turn back and stop the wheels,” said Burris.

He says had he known how bad the roads would get after dawn they would have canceled school.

“You know again that’s the armchair quarterback wow look how this storm differed from what we thought it was going to do,” said Burris.

Of those 25 reported crashes in Roswell Monday morning police say they were mostly fender benders and no one was seriously hurt.

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