Parents Mad After Bomb Threat

By: Allison Hunt
By: Allison Hunt

Oakdale (WVLT) - As temperatures climbed into the triple digits today, so did some parents tempers in Morgan County. A bomb threat caused an evacuation of Oakdale School sending kids to area churches in the heat.

Volunteer TV's Allison Hunt talked with some parents who say they're most upset they were never notified!

Parents we talked to have two main concerns: Why weren't we notified and why were our children put out in the heat? We also spoke with the director of schools who assures us every proper procedure was followed.

It was already in the mid 80s Thursday morning and because of a bomb threat, students pre-K through 12 from Oakdale School were taken by bus to area churches around 9:30.

"I found out they were at the church, without good air conditioning and so I went and got them," parent Shana York said.

When Shana York got to the church everything was safe, but she and Michelle Johnson didn't like what they saw.

"Some of the kids were outside, some were inside," Johnson said. "The church was very hot, it was hotter inside the church than it was outside the church."

But that's not the only thing that got their tempers blazing.

"My main concern was they were taken off the school premises without anyone knowing. What if there was an accident, what if I needed to get in touch with my kids? I didn't know where they were," York said.

Director of Schools Mike Davis says the two churches have been designated evacuation spots for two years and parents should know the procedures.

"They have been informed by newsletter and information from the schools," Davis said.

And he says for emergencies, a local radio station helps get information to parents, but he says they're looking into a new program.

"It's called alert now and we're looking at implementing that in order to notify parents within the first minute or two of any kind of emergency," Davis said.

But when Michelle tried to take her kids home.

"We were told, if we do pick up our children, they would be counted absent for that day," Johnson said.

"That's state law, when school's in session and a child leaves then they are counted absent, and to do otherwise would be a violation," Davis said.

These mom's say all they just want to know their kids are safe.

"I feel we have the right as parents to know where our children are. If they're off the school property, I should have the right to know," Johnson said.

Michelle and Shana tell us they plan to go to the next school board meeting to voice their concerns. Davis says it is difficult to make calls to almost 500 parents, especially when the building needs to be evacuated. He says the children were safe at all times, and that is their number one priority.

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