Parents Upset After Power Outage Forces Closure of Central High School and Brown Middle School in Chattanooga

Reported by: Amy Katcher
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Updated: 8/13/2013 7:13 pm
(WDEF) A power outage meant a short school day in one part of Hamilton County Tuesday.
     Central Senior Matt Ford saw what happened.  He explained, "A pine tree fell over three of the power lines and it went bad from there.  We thought it was lightning for a second until it started glowing orange and we figured out it was a fire.  I mean, the power lines were basically on fire."
    No power means no hot lunches so the students were dismissed.  But that call was made after the students already spent hours in the darkened buildings.
    Parent Becky said, "What they're doing here today is ridiculous.  This is what the school board's typical of, they're trying to keep the kids there until they're counted as present for the day to get the attendance.  It is hot in that school.  It's miserable.  The hallways and the classrooms are dark, it's very dangerous.  It's a breeding ground for fights to break out.  There's nothing that can be done."
    Parent Gale Miller added, "Buses were not allowed to come get the kids, which my daughter has a ride, but for those other parents who are not able to come get their kids, their kids are going to be stuck at school all day because they have no ride home."
    These parents say they feel the students at Central and Brown are being treated unfairly.  Mom Dana Hanning said, "I would like to know where is our school board concerning Central repairs and the upkeep of our schools and for our students and their well being."
    Mother Becky Murray asks other parents to take a close look at their School Board representation during election time, to make sure something like this never happens again.  She said, "It's hot.  It's nasty. It's stinking.  It's just chaos up there.  It's ridiculous."
     EPB says the power was restored by 11:38am.
     We tried to get some answers from Hamilton County Superintendent Rick Smith about the policy to send school buses in the event of power outages like Tuesday's, but he did not return our calls.
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Steven - 8/15/2013 7:05 PM
0 Votes
It must not have been too bad. My daughter has a cell phone and she never called for a ride. She did eventually text me that the lights had been off but that was hours AFTER I got a recorded phone call from the school informing me the power was off. I assume all parents got that call so why didn't you go get your poor little baby from that terrible place? It's no wonder kids nowadays are so soft.

Joann - 8/13/2013 6:18 PM
1 Vote
I work in a school cafeteria. Twice now the power has been out, once for an extended period thanks to the tornadoes but we never missed a meal. My boss is amazing and was very professional. We served a picnic style lunch and made Gatorade in athletic buckets. They loved it.
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