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Parents blast officials over delays in closing Buffalo schools

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Buffalo Public School students were on their way to the bus stops Wednesday morning when schools superintendent Pamela Brown canceled most classes.  With snow days running out, Brown says she  wanted to wait until the last possible minute to make the decision.The superintendent said from raising her own child she knows how complicated it can be for parents when classes are called off and she will make that call earlier in the morning in the future.  Brown said the school system monitors weather forecasts and looks for weather trends.

Wednesday, after reviewing weather information the closing message went out just after 6 a.m.

School board member Jim Sampson says it's not an easy decision.

"The decision to close a school for weather is probably one of the more difficult decisions a superintendent has to make and I would never second-guess that decision," Sampson said.

"The only thing I'm asking is that we try to do it a little bit earlier so parents can make decisions and kids are safe."

School Board Member Jay McCarthy says he was notified of the decision at 6:38 a.m., with his wife and daughter scheduled out the door and on the way to school at 7:30 a.m.

As with so many other parents in the city, they relied on that old educational standby on winter days, "grandparent care."

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.