SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - The severe weather that swept through our area early Monday morning caused school officials to delay their start times. With flood advisories, tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings in place, educators had to make some quick decisions.
"We waited as long as we could," said Jackson County School Superintendent Dr. Barry Amacker. "At 5:00 a.m., we made the decision and notified everyone, and then we delayed it another two hours."
With 150 buses on the road, he didn't want to take any chances. Dr. Ashley Allred, Assistant Principal at Vancleave Middle, said their school start time was postponed for three hours.
"Even as we were sitting there making call-outs about the two hour delay, the lightning was popping, the thunder was crashing, and we knew we made the right decision to extend an additional hour for everyone's safety," Allred said. "We used social media outlets, and made the call-outs, which notify everyone at one time, specifically for our school."
"We didn't get a whole lot of complaints. We got calls saying 'thank you for being sensitive to the safety of our children,'" Amacker said.
The Harrison County School District also postponed school start time for all of its schools by two-and-a-half hours. However, Hancock County Schools Superintendent Dr. Alan Dedeaux said he kept school start times the same, since that's what neighboring areas to the west and north did, and weather comes from that direction. He also said he and his staff didn't want young children at home unsupervised for that time if their parents had to work.
Dr. Dedeaux said students in Hancock County had the option to arrive late to school if their parents brought them, and were not considered tardy.