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Atlanta schools announce closings for Friday, Gov. Nathan Deal apologizes

An abandoned school bus sits in the ice after an Atlanta winter storm on Jan. 29. Drivers and kids were stuck on buses overnight as the icy weather and accidents snarled roads and highways throughout the city.
An abandoned school bus sits in the ice after an Atlanta winter storm on Jan. 29. Drivers and kids were stuck on buses overnight as the icy weather and accidents snarled roads and highways throughout the city.
Daniel Shirey/Getty Images

On Jan. 28, a day that will be remembered by millions, Atlanta coped with a perfect storm when snow and ice caused major traffic jams of gigantic and historic proportions. Students were trapped in schools and on school buses as parents wildly attempted to navigate blocked roads and highways. As a result, commutes that normally took 30 minutes, interminably stretched into hours. Schools dismissed students early on Tuesday and were closed on Wednesday and Thursday. On Jan. 30, several major school systems in and around Atlanta announced that their doors would also be closed on Friday, Jan. 31. Governor Nathan Deal also made news on Thursday when he held a press conference and apologized to Atlanta for the mess that resonated around the country.

As posted by Atlanta-based CNN on Jan. 29, Governor Deal stated on Wednesday:

I accept responsibility for the fact that we did not make preparation early enough to avoid these consequences. I am not satisfied with the response that was made. Having said that I’m not satisfied, I’m not looking for a scapegoat. I’m the governor, the buck stops with me.

According to the “AJC” on Wednesday, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed sidestepped the issue by saying during yesterday’s press conference:

We can never promise that we will always be correct when it comes to deciding what Mother Nature will do. She truly does have a mind of her own.

When questioned further by reporters about the National Weather Service's warning that was posted in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, he quickly backtracked and added, “I did not mean to imply that we didn’t know something was coming.”

Families and residents of Atlanta are still picking up the pieces of a broken city that was paralyzed by Tuesday’s snow and ice. Classes are canceled for a third full day in a row on Friday, meaning parents have to scramble yet again to make plans for children at home.

So, exactly why will schools be closed when many of the roads seem to be passable? Below is the text of a voice mail message that was sent to Fulton County parents at 3 p.m. on Jan. 30.

Fulton County schools will be closed Friday, January 31. This includes the cancellation of all extra-curricular activities and events. District leadership has been performing an extensive assessment of our facilities, buses and communicating with local, city and county governments to help inform this decision. We need to be sure that we will be ready to effectively serve students.

Below is a list of public school systems in and around Atlanta that will be closed on Friday, Jan. 31.

  • Atlanta Public Schools (APS)
  • Bartow County schools
  • Calhoun City schools
  • Cherokee County schools
  • Clayton County schools
  • Cobb County schools
  • Dawson County schools
  • Douglas County schools
  • Fannin County schools
  • Floyd County schools
  • Forsyth County schools
  • Fulton County schools
  • Gilmer County schools
  • Gordon County schools
  • Griffin-Spalding County schools
  • Haralson County schools
  • Lumpkin County schools
  • Marietta City Schools
  • Murray County schools
  • Paulding County schools
  • Pickens County schools
  • Pike County schools
  • Polk County schools
  • Rome City schools
  • Spalding County schools
  • Union County schools
  • White County schools

In addition many private schools and colleges like Greater Atlanta Christian School, Emory University and Kennesaw State have also announced closures for Friday, Jan. 31, 2014. As of 5:30 p.m., Gwinnett and DeKalb Counties have not yet announced if schools will be open or closed on Friday.

For the most up-to-the-minute list of school, business and government closings in Atlanta, head to

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