Bullitt County Schools operate Thursday as other districts close - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Bullitt County Schools operate without delay Thursday despite cold

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Samantha Swicegood Samantha Swicegood
Tammy Dangerfield Tammy Dangerfield
Don Barbiea Don Barbiea
Superintendent Keith Davis Superintendent Keith Davis

SHEPHERDSVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Unlike several nearby school districts, Bullitt County Schools not only held classes Thursday but began the school day on time.

Bright and early on the Friday eve, school buses and cars filed in to drop-off lines at Hebron Middle School.

"We're the only ones who don't have any delay or anything," said Samantha Swicegood, a parent of a Bullitt County student.

For Swicegood, the sunrise commute felt especially early after a long night of waiting for an update that never developed.

"I waited all night," said Swicegood. "I figured 'it's going to come at like 5:35 a.m. when it's time.'"

Others guardians expected a late start.

"A two-hour delay," began Tammy Dangerfield, "that way, you can see what the weather's going to be in two hours."

After tackling a tricky commute herself, Dangerfield said she worried for less experienced drivers.

"The side roads are horrible," said Dangerfield, "especially for high school students that are driving to school."

Parents concerns, however, did not stop there. Fears of bus stop frost bite led many to take matters into their own hands.

"Parents are probably smarter to bring them than to let them stand at the bus stops," said Don Barbiea as he dropped his son off for school.

While Bullitt County Schools Superintendent Keith Davis agreed conditions were cold, he asserted temperatures must be cold enough to hamper transportation for schools to close.

"We would cancel school if it was zero degrees or negative -25 wind chill," said Davis. "That's not based so much on student comfort but more on the mechanical issues with the buses."

According to Davis, bus drivers are also allowed to use judgment in deciding if a route is safe. If it is not, students depending on that bus may be granted an excused absence.

"That totaled around 30 students today in all three grade levels," said Davis. "So, 30 students out of 13,000. You have to make a call: are you going to cancel school for everybody or just a very few when you can get them to school?"

Some parents supported the decision.

"They're ready to get back to school," said Barbiea, who believed braving the cold in the process simply built character for his son.

"He can always say he went to school when it was colder here than in Nome, Alaska," said Barbiea. "So, he's got something to live up to."

Other guardians, however, disapproved of the decision. Some urged school leaders rethink their closing policies.

"It's just too cold for children to have to wait on buses," said Dangerfield.

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