Tuesday, December 1, 2015

JMCSS Addresses Tornado Safety Plan for Students
Mallory Cooke

JACKSON, Tenn.-The Jackson-Madison County School District discussed its tornado policy after Monday’s deadly tornado in Moore, Oklahoma. The twister killed dozens of people, including children at an elementary school.

Heavy rain soaked the city of Jackson one day after the deadly tornado tore through Oklahoma.

“We've been watching the weather today,” said Devonna Burnett, a parent and teacher at Jackson Career Technology Magnet School. “I just think about the kids that it affected, the ones that they found. The ones that they didn't find.”

When the National Weather service issues a tornado warning, an alarm goes off at each school within the Jackson-Madison County School District.

Superintendent Buddy White said students immediately move to designated safe spots in the building. “Bathroom areas, hallway areas, areas where you have small roof spans,” said White.

Students typically participate in tornado drills twice a year. “A lot of time the kids are safer there than being at home,” said Marty Clements, Director of the Jackson-Madison County Emergency Management Agency.

The school district sits in on conference calls with emergency management and the National Weather Service. “There's a lot of training and preparation put into this, so the parents need to trust the schools a little bit,” said Clements.

Jackson-Madison County Schools confirm their buildings do not have above ground tornado shelters. Clements said some schools have basements.

“We need to be careful and make sure that we're listening and paying attention because it's dangerous,” said Burnett.

The district asks parents to be patient during severe weather and follow their instructions when it comes to picking up children from school.