Responding to criticism from the head of the teachers union and many parents, Mayor Bill de Blasio defended his decision to keep New York City public schools open Thursday despite the snowstorm.

The city's Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina also stirred up controversy by calling it 'a beautiful day'.

De Blasio and Farina decided to keep the schools open despite a travel advisory in effect throughout the city. But all field trips, after-school activities and PSAL events were canceled.

Read more on the story from Gothamist