NEW YORK (PIX11) — With many parents crying foul, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina are defending their decision to keep New York City public school open, and the schools’ chief took serious heat for calling it “a beautiful day.”
“I look at this from a number of different perspectives including that of a public school parent,” de Blasio said at a news conference Thursday afternoon. “Our job is to make a decision that’s always tough.”
Farina had a rather optimistic view on the Noreaster, saying, “It’s absolutely a beautiful day outside right now.” Despite the “beautiful day,” New York City public school attendance was less than half of the normal — 44.65%, down from the usual 90%.
However, many on social media didn’t agree with her take on the storm. One Staten Island freshman even created the Facebook page “Close NYC Schools During Snow Emergencies” which now has 23,235 likes.
The chancellor later walked back on the statement, with de Blasio adding that she didn’t mean it was “sunny Florida.”
De Blasio said that since 1978, NYC schools have only closed 11 times. The mayor stressed that many parents rely on schools to be there for their children and for a hot meal.
“It’s a decision that’s not made lightly,” he said.