Madison County family says school didn't notify them about dismissing early

Madison County family says school didn't notify them about dismissing early

MADISON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - A family is concerned after their kindergartener and first grader were found roaming their street alone on Wednesday.

Madison County Schools let out early Wednesday because of severe weather threats. The grandfather of the family, Greg Chappell, said his daughter's phone was broken at the time the school's robocall went out. Chappell, who is the family's emergency contact, said he wasn't ever alerted that the school would let out early.

The bus d ropped the 5-year-old and 6-year-old off at the bus stop, but nobody was home. The children roamed the street for an hour and a half before they were found by a neighbor.

"I was very angry. I wanted some answers and I wanted them quick," Chappell said.

Chappell was still searching for answers on Thursday.

Chappell said his family had no idea when Madison County Schools decided to release kids early on Wednesday because of severe weather threats.

"They have a computerized system that's supposed to notify families that they're doing this," he said. "My daughter's phone was broken. I'm the emergency contact and never got any information whatsoever about it."

Chappell said he works just minutes away from the children's home and would have been home to be with them if he had known school was let out early.

Madison County Schools' director of auxiliary services said students' emergency contacts are always called when school lets out early. But Chappell told WAFF 48 News he never received a phone call, so somewhere along the line, the schools' automated phone system didn't work.

"They were dismissed from school because tornadoes were coming, and they're out walking around the road by themselves trying to find a place to go," Chappell said. "I need someone to give me some answers."

WAFF 48 News plans to meet with school officials this week to investigate the issue further.

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