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Fox 59 gets first-hand look at road conditions facing school bus drivers

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LEBANON — As school districts face the difficult task of deciding whether to cancel school for a fifth day in a row, FOX 59 got a front row seat inside a local school bus.

“It’s a little nerve-wracking,” driver Sheilla Strouse said.

Strouse drives for Lebanon Community Schools. She and other drivers hit their routes Thursday to see if the roads were any better and try to decide if school can start up again Friday.

“This is the most snow I’ve seen, as a driver,” Strouse said.

It was clear right away why Lebanon and other school districts have been out of school all week. County roads especially remain snow-packed and full of slick spots.

“You can feel the rear-end slide around a lot,” Strouse said.

So, imagine picking up kids in those conditions.

“It’s a little more intense when you do have children on the bus,” Strouse said.

“Sometimes you have to really think in terms of the big yellow bus and not just your personal vehicle,” Lebanon Superintendent Dr. Robert Taylor said.

The roads are one reason Taylor has continued to make the call to halt school.

“It’s been an interesting week to say the least,” Taylor said.

Adding in cold temperatures and children can be in real danger.

“If your bus is running five minutes late and you’ve got a student that’s out there, you’ve got to worry about how long are they waiting?” Taylor said.

It set up conditions for another hard decision late Thursday on what to do about school Friday.

It was clear by our ride, at least, that buses would not be on time along their normal routes on those county roads.

“I never got above 25 miles an hour and out there in the country it’s 40 miles an hour, so probably (took) twice as long as it should’ve (taken),” Strouse said.

Lebanon Schools had originally planned to operate on a two-hour delay Friday. However, district leaders later decided to cancel classes.

Click here for a full list of closings and delays.