Schools have to make hard decisions during severe weather events

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - When the potential for severe weather is on the radar, school administrators have to make serious decisions about staff and student safety.

For example, this past weekend severe weather swept through North Alabama, causing severe damage to Brindlee Mountain Primary School in Marshall County. Luckily, it was a weekend and no students or staff were hurt.

WHNT News 19 talked to Madison City Schools Superintendent Robby Parker about making decisions when it comes to severe weather. He said it comes down to one question.

"Are the children going to be safer staying in the schools or are they going to be safer if we can get them home?" he said.

But that question isn't always so easy to answer.

"We usually look a week out, sometimes further," Parker said.

Typically, in every school system there is something going on six nights a week.

"Athletic events, drama productions, six nights a week, every week, we have people traveling, and we have to be aware, even on weekends, if there's bad weather," Parker said.

Madison City Schools and several other systems did cancel all Saturday events this past weekend due to the threat of severe weather.

"It's just a decision we have to make, unified with all of our staff," Parker said.

Whether it's hazardous driving conditions or tornadic weather, Parker said all options are considered before a decision is made.

"We have a family of 12,000 that we have to decide what is the safest thing, and we make the best decisions that we can make," he said.