Many took to social media to voice their displeasure with the decision by the Fairfax County Public School system to stay open during the first winter storm of 2015. The storm closed or delayed schools in numerous surrounding counties. They used the hashtag #closeFCPS, and it quickly took off.
UPDATE (10:24 a.m.) - Just after 10 a.m., Fairfax County Public Schools posted the following apology on their website.
"We apologize for the difficulties the weather caused this morning. Please know that significant area government entities were coordinating at a very early hour. The decision was made with the best information we had very early this morning. Needless to say, the conditions were far worse than anticipated. Weather conditions are expected to improve around midday. At this time, we are planning to dismiss schools at their normal dismissal time, however, we are continuing to closely monitor the situation and will keep parents apprised. We are aware that people are asking us to cancel school. Students are safest at school when parents have not had a chance to make alternate plans for their child's return home from school. However, should you wish to pick up your child early, we will accommodate you. Again we apologize for the difficulties experienced this morning and we thank you for your patience."
During the storm, Virginia State Police reported a higher than usual number of traffic accidents. Bud Walker of the Fairfax County Police Department told FOX 5 that road conditions deteriorated throughout the morning. He also reported a higher number of accident calls.
Just one day earlier, Fairfax County Public Schools tweeted a link to a video detailing how the decision to close schools is made. In the video, Jeff Platenberg, assistant superintendent for facilities and transportation services with Fairfax County Public Schools, said student safety is the number one factor when making the decision during winter storms. Platenberg also spoke about the safety of employees when determining whether or not to close. You can watch the full interview here: http://www.ebmcdn.net/fcps/fcps_video_viewer.php?viewnode=81e2540599d3c