LIVERPOOL, N.Y. (NCC News) –— When Governor Andrew Cuomo announced schools will not be penalized for closing Monday in response to the wind storm, some Liverpool students assumed they would get the day off. On Monday morning, they awoke to a surprise: a two-hour delay.
“My administration has been in contact with the New York State Education Department and it has confirmed that the day will not be held against the school district or other districts requiring waivers due to insufficient available school days,” Cuomo said in a statement Sunday night.
The Liverpool School District had sufficient snow days available, but still elected not to close. As neighboring districts such as Baldwinsville and Cicero-North Syracuse announced their closures, some students and parents took to Twitter to express their frustrations. The original tweet announcing a two-hour delay had more than 80 replies, many of which expressed disappointment in the decision.
“It just didn’t make sense to me especially when schools ten minutes away closed and we didn’t,” said Jake Piscino, a Liverpool High School senior.
Cuomo’s statement cited student safety as a priority, but Dan Henner, the Liverpool assistant superintendent, said after the two-hour delay, the winds were not a dangerous threat.
“I’m looking outside and it’s snowing and it’s blowing, but not to the point where I think there’s any intimate danger,” Henner said. “We’ve been tracking things throughout the day.”
He echoed the emphasis on safety brought up by Cuomo and said if Superintendent Mark Potter thought students were not safe, administrators would have taken further precautions.
Henner also corrected a common misconception that can arise from Cuomo’s statement. He noted a cancellation is only forgiven when all other options are expended. This means if a school was out of snow days and needed to cancel a day with no remaining vacation days, then Monday’s cancellation would be waived.
“It’s a little bit of fool’s gold,” Henner said. “It sounds like a much better story than what really comes out of it.”