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Parents Concerned About Mansfield ISD’s Severe Weather Policy

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Steve Pickett
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MANSFIELD (CBSDFW.COM) - The students of Mansfield ISD’s Kenneth Davis Elementary School were right back to work Wednesday.

The library was filled with two dozen children completing work on laptops.  Parent volunteer Nanette Dennis was back at her post in the library as well, recounting the rush of children to safety one day before.  “They (teachers) had kids in their places. Within ten seconds, the school was quiet and ready,” Dennis said.

The 600 students of the school were ushered into designated sections, and placed in emergency duck and cover positions in preparation for possible tornadoes.  “The teachers did an impeccable job,” Dennis said.

That assessment was in stark contrast to other parents of students in other Mansfield ISD schools.  “My high school kids had no idea what was going on around them,” parent Tiffani Hendrix complained.

There was no duck and cover at Legacy High School, or 12 other MISD campuses.  The schools that did not initiate emergency response were not in danger areas, according to district officials.

The school district’s police department advises individual school principals of severe weather conditions.  The administrators, with the assistance of law enforcement, decide whether to implement the campus emergency plan.  27 Mansfield schools followed “duck and cover” procedures on Tuesday, but 13 other schools didn’t.

The district says one school that did duck and cover is Alice Ponder Elementary School.  But Rogene Worley Middle School, less than a quarter of a mile away, did not.

Hendrix said the policy is disconcerting. “You leave your kids with these schools, and you expect them all to follow the same protocol,” she said.

School district spokesman Richie Escovedo said Mansfield ISD’s boundary lines, which includes the communities of Grand Prairie, Arlington and Mansfield, must assess emergency situations individually.  “Each campus administrator is trained through our emergency response team.  They take the safety and security of students very seriously.”

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