Schools close for threat of severe weather

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Tuesday, schools braced for what was predicted to be a severe storm system.
The forecast for the day stated a strong thunderstorm system was approaching that had a 60 percent chance of producing tornados. Such news prompted schools in the mid and northern part of Pearl River County to close early, sending students home.
Picayune’s school district chose not to close early, instead taking the stance that the students would be safer in school. Picayune School District Assistant Superintendent Brent Harrell said the district has a number of students who live in mobile homes.
Mobile homes are not proper shelter for severe weather that could produce tornados. With that in mind, their choice to keep students in school would be a wise decision.
But, many parents took to Facebook shortly after learning of this news, posting mostly negative comments.
A majority of the comments seemed to reflect that parents wanted their children to come home.
The thing is, parents had a choice Tuesday morning. They could send their child to school, and if the weather forecast caused them to be concerned they could have checked their child out of school if their child’s school decided to stay open. A bump in that plan is if the parents had to work, especially far from home.
Alternately parents could choose to leave their child in school, since the forecast said the weather would not affect Pearl River County until sometime between 3 to 7 p.m.
On the other side of the coin, for those children who were sent home, most of those parents had to work. That means the children went home to an empty house if the parent was unable to find a family member or sitter to care for the child.
No matter the scenario, Tuesday’s storm put a lot of people in a difficult spot when it came to all children’s safety.

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