D-51's delays, dismissals in icy conditions concern parents

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) Dangerously icy roads caused closures all over the valley, but District 51 schools were still in session.

"This was one of those mornings where we thought everything was going to work out and it was just worst-case weather, worst-case timing," said District 51 spokesperson Emily Shockley.

Shockley said unexpected icy rain caused a delay, and an early dismissal for elementary schools, but high school and middle school schedules stayed the same.

"The forecast looked like it wasn't going to rain until 10 a.m., and it would be warm, but unfortunately it came a little earlier," said Shockley.

Dangerous conditions escalated around 7 a.m., but by this time most high school and middle school students were already on the bus or in-route. It was too late to make a change.

Many parents chose to keep their child at home.

Parents like Karen Lee trusted the district’s decision, but the weather caused her 16 year-old daughter to get into an accident.

"She spun out of control on Highway 340 trying to make it to the high school. She ended up in a shallow ditch with half of her car in the roadway,” said Lee.

Lee’s daughter was not hurt, but she’s questioning why the district said it was safe to be on the road in the first place.

"We don't often have weather that is that severe, so I don’t think our kids have what they need experience wise. I think the District should take that into consideration,” said Lee.

The district said it's now apologizing for any accidents or inconveniences.

"I’m not looking to blame anybody…I’m just looking at how we can better the protocol because if it happens once it’s going to happen again,” said Lee.

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