Atlanta Kids Stuck in School Overnight After Snow Ate Pizza, Slept in Gym

Thursday, 30 Jan 2014 03:40 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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Many Atlanta kids were stuck in school after a snowstorm crippled the city Tuesday and left teachers and administrators in charge of massive sleepovers.

At East Rivers Elementary School, close to 100 students watched movies, ate pizza, and slept on the floor Tuesday night. Thirty-one teachers and other adults got little sleep as they comforted younger children who were scared and made sure all were entertained and safe.

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“Our beautiful little snow flurries at 12, 12:30 turned into a fast-moving snow incident and we ended up having a lot of our kids that are bus riders and car riders stuck here at school with us,” principal Matt Rogers told "Today." "We had a snowcation. A little, mini snow vacation overnight.

“We probably had about three to four kids that were crying, so we got them up here (in the office), and they talked to their parents,” Rogers added.

Wednesday morning, with 61 students still at the school, the forced festivities included a snowball fight, which is a rare event in Georgia.

Rogers told "Today" that adults used anything they could find as blankets, including tablecloths and his dress coat. Tumbling mats softened the hard gym floor for sleeping.

“My teachers are the rock stars of this whole event,” Rogers said.

CNN reported that thousands of children in Alabama also spent the night at their schools.

In some cases, children in the southern states hit by the winter storm were trapped on buses for hours, some even overnight.

Home Depot, which is headquartered in Atlanta, opened 26 of its stores in Georgia and Alabama for stranded motorists, CNN said.

As the area began to thaw Thursday and people were able to move about more freely and reclaim vehicles left on the jammed highways, many are starting to look at how the situation occurred. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal laid some blame at the National Weather Service’s doorstep, saying they showed the area wouldn’t be as strongly impacted as it was.

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