Saturday, September 26, 2015

Albert Gallatin school evacuated last week, reason why still unclear

About a week ago, I was lounging around my parents' house the day after seeing Echo and the Bunnymen with my mom, an Albert Gallatin district employee, when my brother looked at a notification on his phone and was like, "Huh, students and teachers from an Albert Gallatin school went to the hospital for breathing issues." And we were like, "Great day to take the day off, Mom!"

The school was Albert Gallatin North Middle School, which ultimately had an early dismissal due to the issue, and a Hazmat team was called in. It was called an "isolated incident" that took place in the school's library. Maybe old-book fumes were getting to people? (In all seriousness, I'm the only bookworm on the planet that doesn't like the smell of books, and I have a friend whose migraines can be triggered by it, so, I mean...)

Hazmat found nothing--all air-quality tests came back normal, as did tests run on those hospitalized (12 kids, two staff)--and staff checked the building over the weekend, so school resumed as normal the following Monday. 'Tis a mystery.

Here's a fun anecdote, though: some woman commented on one of the Facebook posts on this by the local news and was like, "If they don't know the cause, why even report on it?" Which indicates to me that this woman doesn't understand how the news even works, or why children being evacuated even when they don't know the cause is important. I mean, it is kind of a big deal and a potentially serious issue, which got me plenty of likes when I pointed it out.

Speaking of Facebook, things got interesting over on the district's page, where most people were applauding the school for how it was handled but others were complaining that the updates didn't indicate whether or not parents of sick kids were notified. Because, you know, that's totally your business, although I understand concerns about text alerts not being sent in a timely fashion. That said, when school officials are trying to handle 15 sick people, evacuating a school, and a Hazmat team, their first thought probably isn't, "Oh, hot damn, let me send some texts right quick." Students themselves are happy with how it was handled. In fact, Facebook updates asked parents not to call the school, as it was jamming their phone lines. And then there are the people saying it shouldn't have been posted on Facebook at all, because, you know, it's not like it's important to address or anything. Not like people who don't have kids there want to know what's going on. Nope.

All in all, though, glad all is well.

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