FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - The wind chill is to blame for multiple school districts' decisions to start classes a couple hours later than usual Thursday.
When the school districts are deciding whether or not to delay school for weather, they say they're mostly thinking about the children who have to stand out at cold, dark bus stops.
"Oh I feel so sorry for them if they would've had to stand out there," said Shirley Myers, a Florence School District One grandparent. "It's just too cold, icy cold."
Parents from places where cold weather is the norm said it sounds unusual for schools to delay for lower temperatures, but children who ride the bus are put at risk in the early morning hours.
"I take my children to school in the car and they're warm until they hit the front door," said Karen Richards, a FSD1 parent. "And I thought, 'Well, if my boys were going to be standing out at the bus stop, I'd feel a little bit differently.'"
An extra two hours allows the sun to come out to warm up the ground and the students. Florence School Districts 1 and 4, Marion, Marlboro, Georgetown, Williamsburg and Robeson County schools all chose to go that route with a two-hour delay. Many announced the delay a day in advance.
"I kind of was questioning it that early, but then this morning I think it was very much needed," said Arlene Berry, a FSD1 parent. "On the way to school, about 9:30, I know my car was reading 19 degrees and I saw some kids standing outside and they were still freezing at that time."
Many schools did open for drop off at the typical start time, so parents with busy schedules could still bring their children to school early.
Other districts decided not to delay school Thursday. Darlington County was one of them, explaining the district wanted to get the children into the warm schools as soon as possible and be able to serve breakfast. Also, time period with below freezing temperatures has been short, so the district didn't anticipate mechanical issues with buses.