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Dunkirk parents in uproar as schools don't close for storm

Parents are now calling for changes in how the schools are closed.
Posted at 6:18 PM, Jan 25, 2019

DUNKIRK, N.Y. (WKBW) — Parents in Dunkirk are furious after Dunkirk City Schools failed to close during a morning snow storm that had blizzard-like conditions.

Things started getting bad after 6 a.m. when heavy lake-effect snow combined with high wind to create zero visibility.

Conditions deteriorated quickly with the Mayor and Police Chief deciding to issue a travel advisory around 8 a.m.

At the same time, many students were already on their way to school.

"Honestly, it is ridiculous. It is not safe," said parent Mark Schulenberg.

Dunkirk public schools have a high percentage of children who walk to school.

"Very dangerous because if you can't see in front of you, people who are driving the cars can't see the kids walking," added Samantha Stuchell, who kept some of her children home and plans to file a complaint with the school board.

Dunkirk Mayor Wilfred Rosas said the decision to close rests solely with Dunkirk City Schools Superintendent Dr. James Tracy.

7 Eyewitness News was unable to reach Dr. Tracy for comment.

However, Mayor Rosas said the superintendent told him that conditions deteriorated so fast that schools could not be called off because children were either on their way or already in the schools.

The mayor said he is open to the idea of looking at the closing policy to see if the City of Dunkirk should have more input into the decision.

You can hear more in the attached video clip.