BROOKLYN - Public schools remained open today in Brooklyn despite a weather emergency being called by the city as nearly a foot of snow was dumped on the borough.

The decision left at least one Crown Heights middle school with more students than teachers. Officials at M.S. 61 said the weather caused many teachers to call out, leaving many students to spend the day in the auditorium, rather than the classroom.

Many parents criticized School Chancellor Cathie Black for not calling a snow day, but she and Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended the decision. They praised students, teachers and school workers who made it in despite the storm.

NYC declares weather emergency ahead of snowstorm