Some parents unhappy about to keep Montgomery Co. schools open; - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Some parents unhappy about to keep Montgomery Co. schools open; MCPS defends decision

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Dismissal came early at four Montgomery County schools Tuesday when power and other problems got in the way of learning.

Jackson Road Elementary School in Silver Spring had to close when the power went out. Rockville’s Magruder High School had no heat. Pipes burst at White Oak Middle School. There was no electricity at Captain James E. Daly Elementary School in Germantown.

That is where a number of parents who came to pick up their children weighed in on the decision to open schools.

Marcus Campbell left work early after getting a call that Daly Elementary School had lost power and the students would be going home.

We asked him, "Pass or fail for Montgomery County Schools today?”

“Fail,” Campbell said with a chuckle and a smile on his face.

Other parents we talked to were not as harsh as Campbell, but decided nevertheless to level some criticism at the decision to open.

"I felt like the situation was a little mismanaged today,” said Courtney Mollman. “There was a lot of miscommunication on whether the power was on or not on. I called the school at 11 [a.m.] and they said there was heat in some parts of the building, everything was fine, and then I got a call saying pick my kids up by 12:15 [p.m.]"

Ebony Dondero, while walking her children up the sidewalk away from the school, told us, "I knew something was happening because my office was flickering a little bit, so when I got the call, I thought there was something wrong with her, but then, no problem, it's just too cold. And thank God she is a car rider because if she had to stand outside, I wouldn't have let her come.”

One student, Shaune Yeboah, told us the power was spotty, the computers didn't work and they were all told not to take off their coats and gloves.

“We just had to sit there and read books or draw or something,” she said.

While braving the cold outside the school, Shaune’s dad, Alfred said, "I was home, so I know it was an inconvenience, but because I was home, I was able to come and pick her up. But if I wasn't home, it would have been an issue,” he said.

At Magruder High School in Rockville, students were still in class when we first visited in the late morning hours.

By 1 p.m., they were all going home when the heat would not work well enough to keep everyone warm.

A spokesperson for Montgomery County Public Schools, Dana Tofig, defended the decision to open schools saying the students were safe and warm and it was a regular day of instruction. He says the right decision was made.

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