Marshall County schools closed Monday

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The sky will go dark on Monday, and now the Marshall County schools will go dark that day, too.

The Marshall County Board of Education voted to close schools on August 21 due to concerns over issues with the solar eclipse.

Meeting Monday night, Aug. 14, the board listened to principals from various schools discuss their concerns from parents and teachers about the eclipse.

The schools around the county have received many phone calls from parents regarding their children’s safety while viewing the eclipse.

Many parents did not want their children to participate in the schools’ plans to excuse the children from class to prepare to watch the eclipse. Fears regarding eye damage were concerns from parents, teachers, and principals- mostly towards the younger children around the county.

There were worries that the young children would take off their glasses, provided by the school board, and damage their eyes. There were more worries about the loose fitting of the glasses around the heads of the children.

The schools also received calls from parents stating that they were going to keep their children at home to avoid any problems.

Not only were the young elementary and middle school children a concern, even the high schoolers left the schools with safety concerns. There were worries about the high school children playing around with their friends and jokingly taking glasses off during the eclipse.

The Board finally voted to close school the entire day to avoid any potential issues.

Some of the schools will move the eclipse related activities they had planned for Monday to Friday instead.

The schools will send the protective glasses they had purchased for the event home with students before the weekend.

Alongside the school closing, the board also focused on issues regarding the roof damage facing every Marshall County school.

Kevin Turner led the discussion, saying that the schools had received many leaks in their roofs over the years from hail damage and workers who were repairing damage on the roofs.

“Many roofs are between 10 to 15 years old and are in need of repair every 10 or so years”, stated Turner.

Director of Schools Jacob Sorrells, added that some roofs were 20 years of age.

Most leaks at the schools were found inside the kitchens. Marshall County High School was found to have the most leaks of all the schools.

The high school suffered damage to its cafeteria, kitchen, gymnasium, and weight room.

Cornersville School had seven kitchen leaks along with Oak Grove Elementary School.

Westhills Elementary School has leaks all over the roof and is affecting every part of the school.

Marshall Elementary School has problems that estimates place up to $75,000 in damage.

The school board voted to work on the Marshall Elementary School damage first and then discuss further roofing projects at the September meeting.

The Marshall County Board of Education will meet again September 18 at 6:00 pm.