Students sacrifice safety for school on Jan. 6


Icy sidewalks greeted students as they arrived at school. (Photo by James Carver)

Icy sidewalks greeted students as they arrived at school. (Photo by James Carver)

Icy sidewalks greeted students as they arrived at school. (Photo by James Carver)

By Andrea Delgado, Hannah Menchel, Julia Al-Akkad & Maddy Witchey

Editors-in-Chief & Managing Editors

The decision by Fairfax County Public Schools not to delay or close schools yesterday, Jan. 6, was met with anger from both students and parents who were upset at the decision and the dangerous situations it forced students, as well as teachers and administrators, to go through in order to get to school. For many students, their journeys were lengthened or made more dangerous by the wet and icy conditions of the road.

“My mom was driving me and she slipped on a curve and I got scared,” sophomore Jeremiah Labidou said. “[My mom] was aggravated. She was like, ‘What the hell is going on?’”

Some parents took matters into their own hands having their children go later when the roads were less crowded.

“I woke up at 7:30 and my dad basically told me not to get up and to sit down and have some coffee because we weren’t leaving for another hour, because there were stupid teenagers outside. Then we left and it took an hour to get to school which was ridiculous because we live ten minutes away,” senior Jennifer Tran said.

Several people’s parents even made the decision to keep their kids home from school altogether.

“My mom wouldn’t even let me drive yesterday,” said senior Carly Richardson, who ended up not coming to school at all.

Buses also had difficulties with the bad conditions, with several reports of broken down buses popping up on Twitter.

“There are a lot of hills in my neighborhood and there’s one sharp turn on a hill… and the bus started sliding backwards. If the driver didn’t get control, we would’ve slid into the ravine and died,” sophomore James Saunders said.

In addition to the neighborhoods, major roads were icy as well, with many not plowed or treated for the snow.

“It took me at least 30 minutes to drive to school. We were driving on [Route] 7 and people just made their own lanes,” senior Erin Calpin said.

Overall, the consensus from students was that the decision not to close schools was a terrible one.

“It was obviously really irresponsible. I think [the FCPS administration is] so caught up in policy and they’re not allowed to change the decision even though it’s super dangerous,” Tran said. “But because it’s in the rules they just have to abide by [their decision] even if it sacrifices obvious safety.”