NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York City Mayor Eric Adams defended his decision to keep schools open Friday despite the snowstorm.

It was the first major snowfall the city has seen since Adams became mayor.

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As CBS2’s John Dias reports, the ultimate decision to shut city schools is Eric Adams’ choice.

Friday, he said he doesn’t take closing them lightly, saying kids already missed too many days in the classroom during the pandemic.

With their snow boots on, New York City public school students and parents trekked their way to school Friday through the elements. Neighbors cleared a path for some on West 78th Street, while a few kids enjoyed the walk with a snowball fight before school. Others wanted the whole day off.

“I hope it’s a snow day,” said Andrew Friedman.

Some parents felt bad for faculty who had to drive to work. For that reason, they thought the city should have closed schools.

“It’s easy to walk, but not easy to drive. So that presents a lot of problems for commuting faculty,” said Upper West Side resident Jessica Masanotti.

Catholic elementary schools in the Archdiocese of New York closed their doors Friday.

“Today will be a ‘traditional snow day’ with no remote instruction. The day will be made up later in the year,” the Archdiocese said in a statement.

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But that’s not the case for public city schools.

“We lost a lot of school days of due to COVID. And I think it’s imperative that we’re playing catch up right now,” Adams said.

Adams said he made the final decision to not close schools after speaking with the sanitation commissioner and schools chancellor, who said staffing shortages due to COVID is the real problem.

“I don’t think the snow was the biggest issue. The issue was we were already in the miss of the surge and staffing was the issue,” said Schools Chancellor David Banks.

Most parents walking their kids to PS 87 were grateful for the decision to stay open.

“The new mayor made the right choice. He’s trying to keep them in school, and that’s what they need after the pandemic,” said parent Lisa Aptaker.

“They have had enough time at home,” said Lauren Tsaur.

Another two reasons why the mayor said he made this call: Daycare, and free lunch for kids. Adams asked what would parents do if they can’t afford to stay home with their kids, or feed them.


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CBSNewYork Team