Parents support decision to call off school ahead of winter weather

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Parents in New Hanover County are calling the school system's decision to cancel school Wednesday a win.

Dozens of parents and fans came out to Ashley High School Tuesday night to watch the girls' basketball team take on Hoggard.

While they were cheering for different teams, almost all in attendance were also cheering for New Hanover County Schools' decision to cancel school ahead of the possible winter storm Wednesday.

"I think they're smart to just be on the safe side for the kids," said Deborah Barefoot, a mother of one of the Hoggard players. "I think the morning's going to be OK but the afternoon is going to be kinda scary so better safe than sorry."

"A lot of the kids don't have the appropriate winter clothing to be out in this," said Hoggard parent Sandy Brannin. "As we know, the fronts can move in quicker than expected and you don't want the kids to get trapped at school and then some of them not have a way home."

NHC Schools announced the decision to cancel school shortly after 3 p.m. Tuesday. Although the storm is not expected to hit until later in the afternoon Wednesday, the school system did not want risk sending students and faculty into the storm for their commute home.

"The safety of students and staff is always our top priority in making any weather-related decisions," said Valita Quattlebaum, a representative for New Hanover County Schools. "We check with our transportation division to determine if the buses can safely travel across area roads and bridges. We also must determine if our facilities are safe, accessible and have heat."

"It is important to be aware that due to the geographical layout of New Hanover County, there are times when there may be snow and ice in one area creating hazardous driving conditions - typically in the northern parts of the county - and at the same time, it can be clear in the southern end. The district has to consider the entire region, so if there is a closing or delay, the entire district is impacted," Quattlebaum added.

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