Schools Stay Weather-Ready

By: Tametria Conner Email
By: Tametria Conner Email

When severe weather threatens, Meridian Public Schools and Lauderdale County Schools rely heavily on Lauderdale County Emergency Management Agency. LEMA advises both school districts on what to do with their students.

Lauderdale County superintendent Randy Hodges said LEMA was very helpful during Tuesday's severe weather.

"Yesterday's situation, we got the call from LEMA and they alerted us that it would be extreme weather around the time we would dismiss, so we made the decision to hold our students until the weather passes," Hodges said.

Last month, Lauderdale County Schools implemented Alert FM radios to warn students.

LEMA provided these Alert radios for all county schools. During bad weather or even an emergency, an alert is sent out, the superintendent is notified and then a plan is put in place.

Jermaine Brown, of Meridian Public Schools' student support services, said during bad weather, students who walk home are released early. Those who ride the bus or drive their own vehicles are kept inside school hallways until the alert is lifted.

"And even with the elementary kids, some of our administrators, some of our principals and teachers kind of accompany them on home so they will make sure they get home safely," Brown said.

Both Brown and Hodges agree safety is the number one priority for their students. Brown said the Meridian district has not received the Alert radios yet, but LEMA is working on providing a radio to each campus soon.

These radios are also available to the public. For more information on how to purchase one, you may call 601-482-9852.

Should children be let out of school in advance of a severe weather event?

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  • by D.J. Location: Home on Feb 14, 2008 at 04:30 PM
    I disagree Henry. As outlined in the goals and plans of the past few years, the school has got to take over care of all children because the parents of today are too busy or otherwise not capable of caring for them. Without government intervention, children learn outdated values and habits and cannot become proper global citizens. If we care for our children, and wish for them to be successful in the new world, we must embrace the fact that it takes a village to raise a child. It cannot be done by parents alone.
  • by Henry Bowman Location: County on Feb 14, 2008 at 04:11 PM
    The school, nor the government, is better than PARENTS for child care. Students should never be held if parents come to pick them up. Even in bad weather. It's not the school's, or the governments', job to raise your children. On another note, the hallways, as proved last year in AL, are NOT a safe storm shelter. Gathering kids there just makes sure the bodies will all be found in the same place. FEMA had grants for shelters, and money was wasted on "sports" and other junk instead of matching funds for childrens' safety.
  • by Maria Location: Meridian on Feb 14, 2008 at 04:12 AM
    I am very unhappy that my child, who walks home, was sent home on Tuesday. No one was home to let my 8 year old in the house. I am so thankful that my neighbor saw him and kept him for me. The school should have called the parents to let us know the children were being dismissed. It was very poor judgement for my son's school to let him leave.
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