Danville Schools Did Not Follow Proper Tornado Warning Protocol - abc27 WHTM

Danville Schools Did Not Follow Proper Tornado Warning Protocol


Danville, VA – Parents in Danville are concerned about their children's safety during a natural disaster.

Danville's Assistant Superintendent says that two schools did not follow proper procedure during Monday's tornado warning.

The emergency planning guide from the Virginia Department of Education says students should either evacuate or "duck, cover, and hold" during a tornado drill.

As a parent, Rochelle Robinson hopes everyone takes warnings very seriously. So when she found out that O.T. Bonner Middle School, where her son attends, did not follow proper procedure during Monday's tornado warning, she became concerned.

"My child is in there, of course I am going to feel some type of way. I am going to feel upset because it is not done what is supposed to be done," she said.

Danville School Assistant Superintendent Kathy Osborne says Bonner and Schoolfield Elementary did not do what they were supposed to during that tornado warning.

"It's a little more than embarrassing," said Osborne.

Osborne says they've since found two glitches in their alert system.

First, officials did not get a text from the city about the warning.

Also, one weather radio didn't work.

Osborne says because of these problems, some Bonner students were late to follow procedure, and some Schoolfield students didn't follow them at all.

"We're aware of how things did not flow smoothly this time and we are taking every step that we can to make sure that all the processes and procedures are followed," said Osborne.

Since the mishap, Osborne says she's contacted the city to fix the alert problem, plans on checking the radios, and from now on will implement a secondary follow up to schools during emergencies.

But Robinson says for her, that may not be enough.

"I might just have to pick them up because at least I know if we at home, I know we are going to follow the precautions that need to be followed," said Robinson.

Superintendent James McDaniel says Chatham Middle School also did not follow proper procedure and had a miscommunication.

Officials from both districts say they plan to fix the problem and assure parents their kids are safe.

Fortunately on Monday, no tornado ever touched down.

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