Teachers, students skip school in NYC due to snow

January 13, 2011 3:08:20 AM PST
New York City didn't cancel classes Wednesday, but a lot of students and families made the choice on their own to stay home.

The attendance rate across the city was just 46 percent, and only one-third of all high school students showed up to school.

It wasn't just the students that had a poor attendance rate, as many teachers didn't show up either.

It wasn't a snow day at P.S. 93 but it certainly wasn't a typical day either.

"It was dismal, really," one parent said.

Out of 43 teachers, staff members told Eyewitness News that only five showed up.

One teacher, who wished to remain anonymous, told Eyewitness News how she really felt.

"There will be no learning going on. They're mixed in. So third graders are mixed with fifth Graders," the teacher said.

At P.S. 60 in Staten Island, kids navigated the snow as their school staff weighed in.

"He should have closed the schools because it's dangerous for the kids," said Diane Reese, P.S. 60 school coach.

At New Utrecht High School in Brooklyn, one parent says classrooms were empty there as well.

"Apparently the teachers didn't show up for school, and they're dismissing the classes, you can see there is nobody at the school, and there is no children going to and from," said Ron Shammas, a parent.

Still, Mayor Bloomberg and his new schools chancellor, Cathie Black, defended their difficult decision to keep the schools open.

"Number one, our kids are better off in school, hopefully they are getting an education, because there are a majority of the teachers that do show up on a day like this, and number two, there are an awful lot of parents who would have to chose between getting a paycheck and taking care of their kids," Mayor Bloomberg said.

"The last thing we want to do is close schools and have 1.1 million children wandering around with nothing to do," NYC Schools Chancellor Cathie Black said.

Some parents disagreed.

"He's not getting the basics because there's no teachers in school today to help teach," said Michelle Robinson, a P.S. 93 parent.

Do you have something to add to this story? Click here to contact Eyewitness News.