Superintendent defends keeping schools open after bus hits tree - WNEM TV 5

Superintendent defends keeping schools open after bus hits tree

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A school bus struck a tree with 35 students on board.

No one was hurt in the accident in Merrill just after 7 a.m., but parents said the bus should have never been on the road.

"My son goes to Merrill Schools. All the schools in our area were closed, they chose to remain open. No snow day, no delay," the parent said. "His bus ended up going off the road and hitting a tree. What if the bus had went off the road and hit a kid instead?"

Sarah Kettelhohn is the school superintendent.

"We always take the safety of our students very seriously," Kettelhohn said.

Kettelhohn defends her decision to have class on Thursday and said the bus did not run off the road. 

Kettelhohn said the tree came down onto the street. By the time the driver saw it in the darkness it was too late.

She said the wintry blast of weather had nothing to with the incident.

"That tree could've come down on a windy day and had the same effect on dry roads, so I don't believe the accident was caused by the weather," Kettelhohn said.

Kettelhohn said most districts throughout Saginaw County remained open, despite parents’ claims to the contrary.

"I would've still had school today yes. Like I said I take the safety of my students very seriously and if I thought that the roads were too bad to put them on I would've canceled," Kettelhohn said.

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