Special School Board meeting set for April 30 to review April 10 weather event

Published 7:51 am Saturday, April 27, 2024

The Calcasieu Parish School Board will hold a special meeting after the administrative and personnel meeting at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 30, to review the April 10 weather event and recommend procedures moving forward.

Severe weather rolled through Southwest Louisiana a couple of weeks ago, prompting Allen, Beauregard, Cameron, Jeff Davis and Vernon parishes to close schools. The Calcasieu school district decided not to close schools. The morning of April 10, Calcasieu parish students, parents and bus drivers were exposed to the weather while driving to school campuses. The situation caused public criticism of the Calcasieu School District, with many citing poor communication and the endangerment of students, parents and faculty and staff.

At the regular CPSB meeting on April 16, the board room was packed with constituents ready to speak out, but could not because there was no item on the agenda pertaining to the weather event.

Email newsletter signup

The special meeting on Tuesday will allow concerned parties to voice their concerns, comments and suggestions to the board.

CPSB bus drivers have been one of the most vocal groups. On the afternoon of April 10, approximately 10 percent of bus routes required substitute drivers, according to the school system.

Roishetta Ozane, founder and CEO, the Vessel Project, spoke to the American Press on behalf of CPSB bus drivers.

The Vessel Project is a mutual aid, grassroots, community assistance and environment justice organization. Ozane said that they aim to “stand up for justice on all fronts.”

“This was an unjust situation and we wanted to help. As a mother with children who attend CPSB schools and my children ride the buses I want to make sure the bus drivers and students are safe at all times,” she said. “They were not safe in this situation. Thankfully I had already made the decision to keep my children home.”

The bus drivers were motivated to speak out against the Calcasieu school district’s decision to keep schools open during the weather event because they were frightened for themselves and their students, she explained.

Ozane said that the bus drivers hoped to bring attention to the matter at the board meeting on April 19 to get apologies, acknowledgment and “a chance to tell their story.”

“They want to be recognized for their heroic efforts, and ultimately, they want there to be better procedures and processes when it comes to extreme weather.”