Bus routes halted in Madison, WV briefly because of weather - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Bus routes halted in Madison, WV briefly because of weather conditions

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Madison, WV -

It was a tense morning Thursday for some parents in Madison, WV as they wondered if their children were safe in the wintry weather.

Natalie Browning said she had to use social media and tips from friends to figure out why her daughter's school bus wasn't on a normal schedule.

"It started out as normal, but then I heard something come over the radio," said Emily Browning, a student at Madison Elementary School.

She got on the bus around 8:15 a.m. but didn't arrive at school until after 10 a.m. Her mom said the ride is normally much shorter.

"We just all of a sudden pulled on the side of the road," Emily described.

Numerous accidents in the area prompted school officials in Boone County to order all school buses on the road at that time halted until further notice.

"Our bus driver said to stay calm, and that nothing was wrong," Emily said.

But when her mother Natalie started to realize there was a problem she started to wonder why school leaders weren't keeping her informed.

"I had to track my child down myself," Natalie said. "There was no answer at the school board. Then it went to voicemail. Then it rang busy. I tried to call the school and it was busy."

Natalie said a phone call from another parent several stops away asking why the bus wasn't there yet, prompted her to call the school and the board offices. She said her daughter sat on the bus for over an hour.  

"Some of the kids were upset and missing their mom and hoping that people would come and get them," Emily said.

Natalie Browning said she doesn't have a problem with the fact that the buses pulled over and waited for the weather to clear. She just wanted to be more informed.
Shortly after Emily and the other students arrived at Madison Elementary parents were told school was being dismissed early.

"I think I'll be a little more cautious about putting her on the bus when bad weather is predicted...then again do I take the risk of taking her myself when it is not called off?"

Boone County Schools Superintendent John Hudson said there was a delay in notifying parents because officials were in the process of making decisions and assessing the situation. He said the message was put out to parents by phone message as early as it could have been.

Natalie Browning said the message she received was not specific enough.

Middle school and high school students had already arrived at school by the time the buses were halted.