Madison administrators 'miss the mark' on weather dismissal - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Madison administrators 'miss the mark' on weather dismissal

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MADISON, AL (WAFF) -

Madison City Schools Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler addressed the concerns of parents over dismissing students in the middle of winter weather Thursday.

In his note, Fowler said he received weather information midmorning that stated the worst of the bad weather would be arriving between 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m., so they decided to dismiss students at 1 p.m.

The worst of the weather ended up moving through at the same time students were released from school.

"In hindsight, we realize our decision was not the best choice," Fowler said in his statement. "Had we known the outcome we would have canceled school or waited and dismissed at regular time."

Fowler also said the school system had real heroes Thursday; "administrators and bus drivers going the extra mile."

He also acknowledged that some people made decisions that were not in line with procedures, including a bus driver who let students out of the bus to walk home.

"We will certainly take this whole dismissal experience, study it and try to learn from our mistakes," he concluded.

One of those mistakes was on a bus full of Bob Jones students, when the driver couldn't make it up an icy hill.

"He stopped the bus and he said to us, 'Okay, guys. I am going to give you a choice: You can get off now or spend more time on the bus getting back to Bob Jones.' Since everybody spent two hours on the bus already, we all got off," said bus rider Amy Few.

Amy Few, 16, and her sister Dominique had to walk two miles in the snow - something their mother, Jennifer Few, wasn't too happy about.

"Eastview is not the safest road to be letting kids off at. It is a very dangerous road, even to be driving in - especially in those conditions. We just kept praying no one would slide into them," said Jennifer.

It was an issue she and several other parents quickly took up with officials. They were pleased with their just-as-quick response.

"I found out today that not all of our bus drivers make the best decisions, but we are working on that," said Fowler.

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