OKCPS Canceling For Cold Temperatures Based On Student Safety - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

OKCPS Canceling For Cold Temperatures Based On Student Safety

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At Buchanan Elementary School, the doors were closed, hallways were quiet and desks were empty on Wednesday afternoon. At Buchanan Elementary School, the doors were closed, hallways were quiet and desks were empty on Wednesday afternoon.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Oklahoma City Public Schools used up its last built-in "snow day" of the year Wednesday morning but the current forecast could mean more canceled school days ahead. People in the area disagree over whether or not the cold should shut schools down but district officials told News 9 the decision is based on student safety.

2/5/2014 Related Story: OKCPS Classes Canceled Again Due To Cold Temperatures

"A lot of parents don't like it cause it's kind of an inconvenience if you work full time, you have to find day care," explained Tiana Cretsinger, a mother of three. "I would rather them be able to stay home and be safe and do their school work at their house."

At Buchanan Elementary School, the doors were closed, hallways were quiet and desks were empty on Wednesday afternoon. School Board member Phil Horning explained that it was all for a good reason.

"I'd rather talk in terms of responsibility rather than reliability," said Horning. "First and foremost is the safety of the children."

Horning said about 90% of OKC's public school students live in poverty and holding school could put many of them at risk. Principal Scott Kaufman agreed. He sees it every day.

"Sometimes a winter coat is something they just can't afford. A lot of times the kids wear hoodies, or sweatshirts to school and in this type of weather that's just not appropriate."

If any more days get canceled in OKC, those hours will have to be made up at some point. Horning said the district's superintendent will make a recommendation to the board. Members will make the final decision but he said the most logical places to add days would be during Spring break or just during summer break because of the district's continuous school year calendar.

"I am totally fine with them taking an extra week in June," said Cretsinger. "I know some parents don't really like that idea but whatever we have to do to make it work, I'm on board."

Thursday morning lows have been forecasted in the single digits with a zero or subzero wind chill factor. That would mean exposed skin could get frost bite after a half-hour outside.

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