Parents panic as children get stuck on school buses for hours
It took hours for hundreds of Yonkers students to make it to their bus stops Thursday after the area was blanketed with more than 10 inches of snow.
Some of those students didn’t make it home before 11 p.m. As a result, school was out on Friday.
Zyair Whitney, 9, and Zarren, his 5-year-old brother, were stuck for four hours on a yellow school bus during the height of the storm. They had no bathroom or food, and their grandmother Cynthia Hodges was worried sick.
Hodges says she called the school and Board of Education but did not receive an answer.
Yonkers School Superintendent Dr. Edwin Quezada admits that communication with parents could have been better. He says there was a reason why Yonkers students were not dismissed early.
"Everyone must understand, to dismiss children in the middle of the day can create significant safety issues for young people. Parents are not available. Parents are at work," says Dr. Quezada.
If anything good came out of the snowstorm, it was the kind actions of Kenneth Whitney, a public safety officer who works for Yonkers schools. Whitney came across a stuck school bus on Ashburton Avenue and spent hours helping kids.
He gave out sandwiches and juices, and took those who needed to use the bathroom to a nearby nursing home.
"If we take more time to help one another in a time of need, the world would be a much better place," says Whitney.