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Schools in Twin Cities mixed on snow day

By Meredith Machen, mmachen@wcyb.com
Published On: Mar 06 2013 04:55:00 PM CST
Updated On: Mar 06 2013 11:01:00 PM CST

School officials woke up early this morning faced with a tough decision. In Bristol, that decision was mixed.

BRISTOL, Tenn./Va. -

A snow day for some students, a day in the books for others.

School officials woke up early this morning faced with a tough decision. In Bristol, that decision was mixed.

Bristol, Virginia schools closed their doors for weather, but Bristol, Tennessee schools were on a regular schedule. We did some digging to find out why the Twin Cities went different ways.

Students at Van Pelt Elementary never made it to class this morning -- school was closed in Bristol, Virginia. But with roads appearing to be covered in Bristol, Tennessee as well, why were those schools open?

Even with snow lightly falling, it's just another day at Tennessee High School. A parking lot full of cars, a building full of students; but cross the state line and you'll find Virginia High School deserted. School closed due to that very same snow, one some parents didn't find to be a problem.

Dale Tedder is one of the parents questioning the decision. "I really didn't see why they needed to be out today," he told us.

We're told days like today are some of the toughest to call because snow is coming down, more snow is in the forecast, and roads aren't all that bad at the time decisions need to be made. "You make your best guess. Absolutely your best guess," said Bristol, Virginia superintendent Mark Lineburg.

Lineburg tells us he and three other officials hit the road at 4:30 this morning. "We put our eyes on the roads, sometimes we take pictures of the roads," he explained.

While most were okay, there were still questions. "On the back roads towards Exit 7 is where we have our trouble spots and it was there," he said.

We found out Bristol, Tennessee officials do the exact same thing. But their call was a different one -- school's in session.

Director of schools Gary Lilly wasn't able to talk to us on camera today, but he did give a statement. "The weather can sometimes prove us wrong. For that reason, we excuse student absences and tardies when they are weather-related," his statement said.

Even though there wasn't a break for these students now, some families are happy to have it behind them.

Here's another interesting fact we learned -- both school directors were in contact with each other this morning, talking about road conditions.