Local union scolds Houston ISD for staying open during Imelda, claims lives were at risk

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HOUSTON — Members of Houston Educational Support Personnel are saying that keeping Houston ISD schools open last Thursday when Imelda dumped so much rain on our area was dangerous for students and bus drivers.

HESP President Wretha Thomas says asking the bus drivers to pick up the students and take them home on that rain-drenched day put everyone in danger of bus accidents and drownings.

The group is hosting a press conference on this Tuesday morning and Thomas plans to discuss how the district should handle the situation next time. During a press conference Tuesday, two district bus drivers spoke about their experience driving during Imelda.

HISD released a statement Thursday evening saying they followed established protocols for determining delays and closures—which includes numerous conference calls between the interim superintendent, the National Weather Service, Houston Transtar, local emergency officials and other local school district superintendents.

The statement goes on to say, "The weather event unfortunately took a turn that was unforeseen by many area school districts and agencies. Throughout the day, we took proactive measures to keep our students and staff safe."

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