Guntersville parents react to late notification from school system

Parents at Guntersville Elementary are disappointed they were notified several hours after the Marshall County Jail inmates escaped.

Posted: Aug 14, 2018 6:31 PM
Updated: Aug 14, 2018 6:33 PM

All 5 escaped inmates are back inside the Marshall County jail, but parents at a nearby school are left wondering why they were notified so late. 

All Guntersville City Schools were under soft lockdown today with a normal dismissal and Marshall County Schools were on what's called hightened awareness with a normal dismissal as well.

WAAY 31 spoke with several parents who are upsetbecause they were not notified about these security measures until several hours after it was in place.

 The inmates here escaped around 5:30 this morning, that's two hours before school started at Guntersville Elementary.

Parents I spoke with were eargerly waiting to pick up their children today and tell me they wouldn't have sent them there had they known what was going on.

"It was a little scary of course, anybody whose got kids in the school wants to know what's going on at that time. Well, we did get notifications or whatever, but it was like 2 hours later. That's when I received one."

"I was notified at about 10:15 am and I had seen it on facebook first, before I was even notified."

Parents at Guntersville Elementary told WAAY 31 they were disappointed the school system did not reach out to parents as soon as they knew the inmates had escaped.

And although they later received updates from their children's teachers letting them know they were safe, it was still an unsettling feeling.

"I mean I know they do what they can for the kids to protect the kids but we need to know exactly what's going on at that exact time, not two hours later."

Both parents we spoke with were there an hour early waiting for their children to be dismissed and said they would have never sent them to school if had they known in advance.

"I think we should have been notified before all of this, before the school buses even ran because all of this because it happened before that time. So if parents would have been notified I think a lot of people wouldn't even have been here today."

And now one mother says she will have to explain how school can become dangerous to her 6-year-old, a conversation she never thought would come this soon.

"I believe I'm gonna have to, I don't think she knows anything about it. It's a little upsetting but it's something that needs to be done."

"It's hard to send them off but they need their education, well we need their protection as well."

The parents we spoke with also said they think they need to have a better form a communicating with parents in this situation whether it be an automated phone call, text, or immediate email.

They also would like for the school to have more SRO's  in place for future safety.

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