Sheriff Saves Kids From Overnight School Due To Weather Conditions

About 25 Alma students had planned on staying at school overnight because of poor road conditions, but the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office took the children home by around 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

Supt. David Woolly announced earlier in the day that many school bus routes in the area remained unsafe because of the winter weather, offering up overnight school as a solution to hold students whose parents could not come pick them up.

He assured parents the students would be warm, comfortable and fed.

About 25 students were set to take up the superintendent on his offer, but deputies took the children home before the overnight stay became a reality.

(5NEWS reporter Aubry Killion spoke with the superintendent about the situation in a live interview, seen in the video above the story)

40 comments

  • Melissa

    Thats a wonderful idea. Unfortunately that’s not what the kids prefer, but atleast they have food and shelter. Good thinking!

  • Keith Rutledge

    School districts are in a “no win” situation. Many people who complain don’t comprehend the liability issues schools deal with. Student safety is first and foremost and predicting weather is far from an exact science. Be thankful you have a district that cares about your child’s safety.

  • Hogs forever

    Just saw David W., Supt. interviewed….does the man not make enough money to buy a better weave? That thing is an embarrassment

  • 8track

    Poor kids…This must be a nightmare to have a “sleepover” at school of all places.

    But it must be said that this weather system caught everyone off guard. I don’t think even the army of local weather forecasters thought it would get this serious so quickly.

    What will tomorrow bring? Your guess is as good as theirs?

  • Notawolleyfan

    What a joke if Alma School district and Mr. Woolley really cared about the safety of the students he wouldn’t require my children to stand on the corner of 64 highway to wait on the school bus in the mornings or drop them off almost a mile from our house and make them walk in the afternoons. Because it has always been Alma’s policy to only go down the main roads. I’m very fortunate to have a semi flexible work schedule where I can wait with them in the mornings and I make arrangements to have someone waiting at 64 highway to drive them to the house in the afternoons because I don’t feel it’s SAFE for them to walk. Anyone could take them, they could get hit by a car or numerous other things. So I find it amusing in all his interviews when he talks about the safety of all the Alma students.

    • Happy, happy hapy

      Just a comment because I’m not sure most taxpayers in AR know that school districts are not required to provide any kind of school bus service to any student in AR…might want to contact congressional members who represent your district, if looking for a change in law.

  • JR Gibbs

    Wow! The school was doing what they could and the sheriff did a good thing to get the kids home and it ends up with some just looking to bash. I don’t live there but my hats off to the school and staff and to the SO.

  • Happy, happy hapy

    It is just so sad that a parent would even think about not trying to go to the school and get their kid. Most parents would get to them any way they could or make arrangements for someone to get them. I sure hope none were in grades 1 – 3. I know they would have been so scared.

  • Sharon

    Thank you Ron Brown and the whole Crawford County Sheriff’s office for taking care of those kids that needed to home safe with their loved ones. It was an awesome thing that yall did! It was also thoughtful of the Superindentant to offer them a warm place for the night. God bless each of you!!!

  • RS

    I think if you were to check Mountainburg still has dedicated teachers there with a few students that they could not get home. Very proud of them all right now.

  • Bill Jones

    I don’t think anyone seen this coming this quick. It was sleeting just a little in Knoxville when I left the house this morning to run 5 miles to the Dollar General in Lamar. By the time I got there I wasn’t sure if I would make it back home. It got very bad very quick. Lamar couldn’t run their buses as well. My daughter had to go and pick up her girls.

  • debbie mcadoo

    If you didn’t like the way things was done at alma today you need to drive a school bus just one time.

    • Paula

      If any of these people were bus drivers would they want them to send you out with a load of kids. Like you said, they need to drive a bus one time and see what it is like in good weather much less ice. Bus drivers have a load of responsibility on them and people seem to think it’s a easy job.

      • Sharon

        Paula, you are correct. Those kids are “precious cargo” and even though I have not ever driven a bus, I kow it is a great deal of responsibility. If the bus had slide off the road, those kids could have been hurt or very cold. Then what would people be sayig. The school made a good decision since parents couldnt get them picked up.

  • cheryl lucius

    I am just happy all of the kids are home safe. Johnson county sheriff did the same thing. I am so glad to live in a area that they will do this for our children.

  • James

    Maybe if Arkansas actually had a weather plan for roads, such as salt trucks or snow plows, then stupid problems like kids staying in a school just for a tiny bit of sleet or a few snow flakes could be avoided. On top of that, all of the accidents, slow downs, and closings would be avoided if they just learned how to actually manage the roads like all of the other states that get real amounts of snow and winter weather each year, like northern Missouri or basically any state north of Arkansas. This past week where some states were below zero and got over a foot of snow, do they have to cancel school every time a snow flake falls? No, because they actually know how manage their roads. They need to learn to do the same here.

    • muddymom

      Driving on packed snow is way different than driving on ice! We dont get this kind of weather often enough this weather was CRAZY this year!

  • UR Moms Box

    Thank you to the sheriff for doing what he could and for making the call! The fire and city police chiefs should both be fired for not being the toto guys and stepping up and getting this done the instant the school buses were cancelled. If I was mayor and the children are my number one concern I would have everyone of my paid civil servants who are trained emergency responders at those schools taking people home. Yes I understand it could mean thousands of kinds, and multie trips guess what that’s why your a Firefighter or Police offficer…. Well done Sheriff I thank you for having the leadership needed for the kids of Alma. Can you come to greenwood and teach them a little, start with not having parents standing in the ice and rain lined up outside of a school with infants and toddlers waiting in the cold to go inside and get their other children. Here’s a hint use that big empty room called a cafeteria in each school to gather those cold parents and babies and keep them warm while you check kids out….come on use your brains!
    Good luck bro…

  • Citizen Mom

    Road management as stated above comes down to tax monies and how our state allocates them. If we start seeing harsher winters then perhaps when the revenues lost due to people missing work outweigh what it would cost to have a road team such as Missouri we will pull funds from somewhere else to do the same. Or, we would see a tax increase somewhere to pay for it all. For now, cherish a moment to be warm and slow life down.

  • Kris

    The Johnson County Sheriff and all his Deputies had every child that couldn’t be picked up home by 4pm. That is a large task as they were dealing with 3 different school districts. Hats off to Sheriff Dorney and his Deputies for jumping in and getting it done.

  • Retired LEO

    Those of you that made comments about David’s hairpiece should have to walk in his shoes. It’s a medical wonder he is with us today. Shame on you. He does a great job as our superintendent.
    The Sheriff put together a operation that got every child home safe. But would you be so complementary of him had one of his vehicles wrecked and a student got hurt. I somewhat doubt it!
    I took responsibility for my grandchild, picked her up myself and took her home. Her only objection was that she wanted to stay for the slumber party!

  • D

    Wow, how disrespectful people are being! Despite all of the rude exchanges on here, I think what the school district did was a great decision in light of the circumstances. I do not have children, but I live in Alma, and I am aware of the road conditions yesterday. Whether the school has devices to monitor the conditions, or regardless of where people live in the surrounding areas, the fact remains that the roads were bad and we live in a community that is willing to put student safety first… I believe that speaks for itself.
    While I realize everyone is entitled to their own opinions, this is not the place for rudeness. Wow!

  • stupid sensational news

    You all missed it…This was a PR fumble on Woolly’s part. NEVER should he have used the phrase “overnight stay”. Other smaller schools just took care of it themselves without EVER mentioning that. If the previous Supt. were here he would have had Woolly’s job for that stupid interview mentioning that possible solution. NO ONE would allow or expect kids to stay overnight at school. And yes I know bussing is not guaranteed.

  • Alma Dad

    Your an idiot, no one expected the road conditions to deteriorate so quickly, one minute they were fine, the next minute everyone was in the ditch. Obviously you do not live in a rural area. Alma school district consists of several communities that are difficult to reach in heavy rain Forget about it in ice and snow. Unless you’ve driven a bus in these conditions on those rural roads, you should keep your mouth shut. I’m proud the they are providing a safe alternative for their students and parents!

  • Think about it......

    Weather monitoring equipment in the office??? HAHAHA. No they do not all have that. Unless by weather monitoring equipment you mean looking at the forecast on the internet. They can probably do that. That does not mean they can foresee the future.

    We let the kids go home early and parents are irritated because the roads were “fine”. We keep the kids at school, and parents are irritated because we don’t consider student safety. It’s a no win situation.

    p.s. I love how you tell someone that their comment calling you an idiot is rude. What do you consider calling someone a “Dumb A”??

  • Paula

    Alma dad is correct….you are an idiot. I don’t know where you were today but in Fort Smith it was fine and about 10 minutes later it was a sheet of ice and we couldn’t even walk across the parking lot. I’m sure if Alma had loaded the buses and they ended up in the ditches you would be on here complaining about that also. I watched the weather this a.m. and I heard nothing about it being dangerous by 11 a.m. or I myself would not have driven on it

  • Daveheatherlucxanderrory Steadham

    Traveler, I fear you are ignorant in your thinking. While I do not teach at Alma, as a teacher I know that we are required to have students attend a set amount of days in school. Repetitive days missed due to snow or other bad conditions force student and families to give up their summer breaks as the school year is extended. This in addition to the small number, 25 students, that could not safely get home compared to the entire student body, nearly 2,000 student in all of Alma’s schools, this seems like a great compromise. No it is not ideal, but putting the students first this is a GREAT solution. Were I a teacher there I would have gladly offered to stay the night with the students and knowing David Wooly I am sure he would make the same offer.

  • Traveler

    I know for a fact that all schools have weather monitoring equipment in the offices and the office staff monitors the equipment constantly. Don’t believe me? Check with the office staff. The weather conditions were known for hours. BTW I live in a rural community and had a brother who drove a school bus for the local district. I know some parents, esp. the ones who do not like to parent, will love not having the kids for the night. Perfect opportunity to make more kids for someone else to take care of. So glad it is a free country and I have the right to post my thoughts.. It would be nice, if you could keep your rude comments of “idiot” out of the lively conversation.

  • Been there done that

    I worked at Cedarville schools at one time, and there was weather monitoring equipment in the office at this school…strange that Alma would not have it. It is a separate system and is only for school districts from the national weather bureau. I believe it was monitored in Branch AR. Can’t rem. for sure where though.

  • Paula

    He probably thinks they have someone that does nothing but sit and watch the weather monitoring equipment LOL!! idiot!!!

  • opinion

    I guess if you call “him” an idiot then anyone can call you a “fat person”.. …or other degrading terms. This is not the place for any name calling

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