GW Middle School Evacuated Following Report of Strange Odor

Feb 14, 2013 Full story: Patch.com

Fire crews from Alexandria and Arlington County responded to a report of an odor at George Washington Middle School around 2 p.m. Thursday that was later found to be related to a snapped power line in the 1000 block of Mount Vernon Avenue.

Full Story
Maria Freire

Alexandria, VA

#1 Feb 14, 2013
What isnít mentioned in the article is that two fire trucks, one police car and EMS vehicle was dispatched to the school where the entire population of the school clearly saw that the emergency personnel demonstrated no sense of urgency in entering the school. It appeared that they were behaving as the event was more a drill than an actual event. Once it was ascertained that children could be let back into the school they were escorted into either the cafeteria or to the auditorium through the cafeteria, with the exception of the 8th grade GW2 students who were escorted back into their classrooms. At 3:30 students were told they could not re-enter their classrooms or go their lockers to retrieve their personal items (that included, their coats, house keys and cell phones.) They were told to either walk home or take the buses. No emergency notification either via email or phone call was sent to parents prior to the school dismissal. A phone notification arrived at 6:33 PM wherein the GWMS 1 Principal notified parents that a power outage had occurred at school and that after it was ascertained that it was safe, students were let back into the school. The message was damaged and looped twice before disconnecting. When students clearly voiced that they needed to get to at least their house keys to get into their homes, teachers showed a total lack of consideration and told them they would be fine. HOW WERE THEY SUPPOSED TO GET INTO THEIR HOMES!!!
GWMS Administration has shown that there is no Emergency Preparedness plan in place or if there is, they are unable to execute it properly. Their actions at best showed lack of consideration by forcing children to leave the school grounds without coats in the middle of winter and at worst child endangerment by having children go home with no means to enter the premise, no cell phone to contact their parents or an alternate contact. They have demonstrated their ineffectiveness at properly notifying parents of a potentially dangerous situation. If they are unable to handle a power outage, how can parents have any sense of trust that they are capable of handling a more serious situation.

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