Students stuck at school for hours after tornado-warned storm in Spalding County

Hundreds of students were stuck at the four middle schools in Spalding County after a tornado-warned storm tore through the area Thursday afternoon.

Children at Kennedy, Cowan Road, Rehoboth Road, and Carver middle schools were stuck there well into the night after emergency officials say roads became unsafe for school buses to travel.

Officials with Griffin-Spalding County Public Schools say those schools usually dismiss around 3:30 p.m., but a tornado warning popped up around 3:15 p.m.


The buses that were already on the road returned to the schools to allow the students to shelter in place. About 400 students were stuck among the four middle schools.

"Under the circumstances, we did the best we could. Things that were unavoidable, we worked around them. We were communicating between the middle schools. Everybody was talking to each other, making sure everyone was OK," said Zachary Holmes, Griffin-Spalding School Board Member. 

School officials say parents were allowed to pick up their children, but those who relied solely on buses to get home were being held there.

The number dwindled during a two-hour period from 67 to the 20 students reported at Cowan Road Middle School as of midnight.

About 28 staff members were on hand to care for the children.


One of the challenges during the evening was trying to find the children something to eat.

"We had the mayor of the city of Griffin to deliver some snacks to us, water, chips, cookies, so everybody in the community was working together," said Holmes. "And that’s what I’m so proud of, is how we came together to resolve the issues we were facing."

Spalding County Sheriff's deputies were able to start taking the remaining students home around 11 p.m.

There have been no reports of injuries among students or staff which the district says was because the severe storm policy was followed.