Parents angry over Henrico County Schools power outages

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Several schools in Henrico County lost power this morning, and some parents are angry about what they described as the school system’s lack of communication.

Power outages led to three Henrico County Schools closing on Tuesday: Brookland Middle, Freeman, and Henrico High Schools all closed. But some other schools who went without power for hours Tuesday morning remained open until the power was restored.

“It’s cold, the lights are out, we’re like, ‘why haven’t they called anybody?'” Henrico County parent Destiny Lewis questioned. “So a lot of parents, we had to stop a couple parents coming up here, because they were like, ‘we didn’t even know.’

“So it’s crazy, because all these kids are in here and there’s no lights, no heat, no anything.”

That was some of the frustration voiced by many parents Tuesday as they learned that their child’s school had no power. Parents said they were upset at the lack of notification and having to find the news out through word of mouth.

“My children told me when I came to come pick them up from school,”parent Tiffone Shelton said.

Henrico County Public Schools told 8News that at one point, there were 15 schools without power. The school system says it wasn’t until 6:30 a.m. Tuesday morning when most of the schools without power realized it, and by that time most buses were already on their way to get students.

“It’s generally our approach that the safer place for students to be is at school and then we hope as has been the case in the past that power is restored relatively quickly,” explained Andy Jenks with Henrico County Schools.

The school system said they did communicate through social media about the power outages, but some parents say they wish they would have been notified in other ways so they could have decided whether to keep their kids in school.

“You should at least let the parents know, give them the opportunity to make that decision on their own,” Lewis said.

“They asked me if anybody called me, I said no, or text me, or anything, no text message, no calls,” Shelton added.

The school system said they also wanted to make sure they had the correct info before sending any notifications out, bid admit there may be room for improvement in the future.

“Anyone who comes forward and indicates to us that there are opportunities to do better in that regard then we certainly want to meet that,” Jenks said.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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