CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Thousands of students were dismissed early Friday due to the weather warnings. Both parents in Union and Mecklenburg counties say it was the right decision for their children’s safety.
Parents lined up outside Sun Valley High School in Indian Trail, patiently waiting in the sleet and rain to get their kids early from school. Union County schools sent parents an email Thursday night so they were prepared.
"Better safe than sorry having the kids come home," said one parent. "I'm happy they did it because I'm from Ohio and usually if they have early dismissal it's last minute, I'm glad they prepared us ahead of time.”
CMS operated on a two-hour delay which meant all schools released students two hours earlier than their normal release times, and all afternoon bus routes operated two hours earlier than their normal route times.
All field trips, after school clubs, athletic practices and games, and all after school enrichment programs were cancelled.
Union County Schools Superintendent Mary Ellis says they've monitored the weather for days and Thursday afternoon it became a no brainer to them. All students were dismissed around midday.
"The decision was made in concert with law enforcement, with county personnel, with our transportation personnel," said Supt. Ellis.
A decision not taken lightly, considering it's been 10 years since Union County had an early dismissal.
"I felt like I'd made the decision to err on the side of safety of children and adults. I will make that decision 100 times out of 100," said Supt. Ellis.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools came to the same decision early Friday morning after giving parents a heads up Thursday night.
"That email was basically a message that went out to parents to let them know we were contemplating a decision and that weather patterns were coming through," said Millard House, COO of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.
Family members waiting in line outside Butler High School also agreed with the decision to dismiss early.
"Me and my husband, we decided before CMS called us that we might not let our kids go to school," said one parent. They say safety far outweighs any inconvenience it's caused.
"From what they say if it's going to happen I think it is warranted. You never know, can't mess with mother nature," said another parent.