Children stuck at schools, on buses - WSMV Channel 4

Children stuck at schools, on buses

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Children sleeping at E. Rivers Elementary Children sleeping at E. Rivers Elementary
Bus stuck in Gwinnett County Bus stuck in Gwinnett County
ATLANTA (CBS46) -

Students in several counties were stuck in schools and on buses during the Tuesday night hours.

There are still children at Cobb, Paulding, and Fulton County schools.

CBS Atlanta's Renee Starzyk reported that Douglas County school officials had sent all students home by Wednesday afternoon. 

"We put the girls in a wing of the building, the boys in the gym," said Connie Craft, principal at New Manchester High School, which housed some 350 students. "We watched movies. We played basketball. We just had an overnight good time."

In all, 800 students spent the night at county schools after roads became too dangerous to navigate. Last night, bus drivers were told to pull over to the nearest school and get the children to safety. Pritz said no students were stranded on buses on the road.

Some parents criticized the district for failing to communicate with them on where their children were.

"When things are moving quickly, we don't always have the option to stop and send out robocalls to give you an update every few minutes," said Craft. "I wish we did. But when our phone is ringing off the hook, it's very difficult for us to stop and then respond to every parent request and look at every situation."

Douglas County administrators said 911 operators handled more than 4,000 calls in a 36-hour period beginning at 6 a.m. on Tuesday. Dispatchers said calls were beginning to taper off by late Wednesday afternoon. 

A parent told a CBS Atlanta photojournalist that children at Marietta High School stayed there until a parent picked them up, even if that meant they had to stay overnight.

That was the case for many area schools as parents couldn't reach their children.

At E. Rivers Elementary roughly 100 children slept in the school gym on mats. Some children as young as 5 years old have never been away from home before.

Some older school children actually walked home from school.

Some school children across Metro Atlanta who were able to get out on buses were not able to make it home as buses were left stranded in gridlock traffic.

Atlanta police rescued 91 students from three Fulton County Schools buses early Wednesday morning.

Atlanta Public Schools confirmed that all of the 50 students who were previously reported as still being on buses have been transported safely.

"We have several hundred students sheltered in place at nine sites in the north and west regions of the city. There were a few challenges to food delivery at some locations, but all students did receive food thanks to the Atlanta Police Department, our resourceful staff, and the generosity of communities. Students are safe and continue to be supervised by staff and resource officers. The Georgia State Patrol is also on site," said APS spokesperson Kimberly Willis Green. "Parents are asked to contact schools directly for information on students. However, the district will continue to update parents as we work with state and local agencies to identify safe travel solutions for our students."

In Cherokee County, the superintendent authorized the Transportation Department to temporarily suspend bus services until the roads were made safer.

Around 400 students were sheltered in schools, but none were stuck on buses.

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