Thousands of students absent from schools will be marked present - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Menino, BPS officials take heat for not cancelling school

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(MyFoxBoston.com) – A lot of kids in Massachusetts got a snow day Friday, except the Commonwealth's biggest city – Boston.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and the Boston Public School system is taking some heat for not canceling school during this snowstorm, one that seemed to take the city by surprise.

Parents were upset that they had to drop off and then pick up their children in such dangerous conditions.

"We don't understand how they decide. Sometimes the conditions seem okay, but the school is closed. And sometimes they're like this and we think, ‘Oh, the school maybe is closed.' Then it's not. The road is pretty slushy," Cynthia Wong told FOX 25's Sharman Sacchetti.

Menino defended the decision saying the forecast was fluid and finicky.

"It was a much different storm than we ever predicted. It just kept on changing. The forecast we got 18 inches of snow out there right now," he said.

Despite the conditions, Menino said 65 percent of Boston's student body made it to school.

City Councilor John Connolly, who is gunning for the mayor's position, said even if the city was caught off guard, school should have been cancelled.

"One thing I am hearing from parents across the city is that the classes are half full. I mean this is proof positive, we should have cancelled today [Friday]," Connolly said.

However, not all parents think the decision to hold school was off the mark.

Lee McGuire, a spokesman for Boston Public Schools, said children who did not show up for school Friday would not be penalized and would be marked as "constructively present."

McGuire said the last time this happened was about four or five years ago.

The mayor says if the forecast was more solid, he probably would have put into place a parking ban. He added that he is not targeting forecasters who have a tough enough job as it is.

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