To The Daily Sun,
The following letter was addressed Laconia School Superintendent Terri Forsten.
I am sure you will receive numerous calls and e-mails like mine today. And I almost didn't bother, knowing that you will be hearing from so many angry, concerned parents. But I am going to because my children were put in harm's way unnecessarily.
I have three children that are your students, and two more to come. Two of my boys were on L-4 yesterday afternoon. That trip would have been tremendously safer at 1 p.m. than at 5 p.m. when they were finally picked up from Woodland Heights School. And their usual 20 minute ride to Academy Street, turned into an hour and 15 minute nightmare. My younger son is in kindergarten, he is just 5 years old. I repeat: 5 years old. I will be forever grateful that he was with his older brother, and a close neighbor friend who was there to hug him, and keep him calm. This attention was needed by him because he was absolutely petrified during this ordeal, to the point of almost throwing up the entire ride.
I had to hear from my 10-year-old son that every time the bus slid on the roads, the younger children were crying, and screaming out of fear. And that at one point they all put their little heads bent over, resting on the seats in front of them, so that if they crashed, they wouldn't hit their heads.
It makes me sick to my stomach to hear these stories coming from their mouths. No child should ever have to be in fear of a place where they are supposed to feel safe. Your choice to not call school out early yesterday resulted in putting numerous children, and the bus drivers safety, and potentially their lives, at risk.
I am curious as to what your thought process was at 11 a.m. ... noon ... 1 p.m. as you watched this storm progress, and heard every surrounding town calling their schools to release the children — some as early as 11 a.m. You should be ashamed of yourself and your lack of action. And I commend all the drivers who were put into this ridiculous and unnecessary situation.
Mr. Emond, I am copying you in this letter because I want to thank you for bringing my son, Michael, and neighbor, Selia, the rest of the way, once their bus became stuck. On flat roads... I am so very thankful that you were there to help.
We as parents — I assume I speak for more than just myself — do not want your apology. Nothing you can say will take back the fact that you endangered the lives and emotions of our children.