Gallup mom shares concerns after bad weather impacts rural roads

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GALLUP, N.M. – The calendar might say it’s spring, but in New Mexico, people are still experiencing winter weather. And if you’re a parent in a rural area, waking up to snow on a school day can be an unwelcomed challenge.

“Having to look outside and see the weather and see inches of snow, and see fog it was concerning for me,” said Krystal Yazzie, a Gallup School District parent.

Yazzie says winter weather doesn’t mix well with dirt roads.

“We don’t get our roads paved, we come from dirt roads that do get muddy, we don’t have salt trucks that are able to maintain our roads,” Yazzie said.

Creating dangerous driving conditions.

“’Should I get on this icy dangerous road to take my child to school or should I keep them safe?’ Like, parents shouldn’t have to think that predicament,” said Yazzie. 

Yazzie says she would like to see more virtual learning days, to avoid making that tough decision.

“The district did provide computers, tablets, Wi-Fi to utilize virtual days when weather permits. I’m not saying no school I think school is important, but I feel like if we have the necessary tools to accommodate the weather, and children, and parents, and even staff their safety why not do a virtual day?” said Yazzie.  

KOB 4 reached out to the Gallup McKinley County School Superintendent, Mike Hyatt. He says that busses begin to pick students up around 5 a.m., so all updates on the weather and road conditions are gathered before then, and a decision must be made on whether to delay or cancel school before the busses go out.

When a storm cell arrives and dumps snow unexpectedly in different parts of the county, Hyatt says schools are told to be considerate to students arriving late.