Electrical problems force Scoggins Middle School students to evacuate

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Many students look forward to interruptions during class. Little did the Scoggins Middle School students know that the interruption over the speaker would alert them to leave the building immediately.

On Monday, February 5th, in an email sent to parents, Principal Barbara Warner said that a power outage triggered a mechanical issue that created smoke.

“I was back in my little corner in my classroom and Mrs. Warner said we need to evacuate,” Scoggins teacher Christopher Jackson said.

“I saw the smoke. That’s why I gave the order to evacuate the building,” student resource officer John Walls said.

Officer John Walls is the student resource officer at Scoggins Middle School. He was the first person to see the smoke and with the help of fellow officers, cleared the building safely.

This is not the first time Scoggins has had electrical problems in their lunch room.

“We’ve had some issues with the cafeteria before, but we’ve never had to be transferred by bus to another campus,” Jackson said.

“It’s not uncommon for this to take place when a school has an incident where the kids need to be removed, they’d go to another location,” Assistant Principal Ryan Solano said.

The students were bussed to Independence High School because the majority of Scoggins students are zoned to attend high school there. The Independence staff had a strategy to make sure everyone arrived and departed safely.

“We had a basic plan put in place for this as do all schools, but we did meet once we knew the middle school was coming over and then we just went over our plan to execute it,” Solano said.

When the students arrived, the teachers guided them into their own grade level sections in the gym. Meanwhile, the staff handed out papers for each parent to fill out to pick up their kids from Independence. Available staff members went into the gym with the papers and called out the names of the students who were being taken home.

Scoggins Middle School teachers helped give instruction on the dismissal of each student after the emergency evacuation.

“It takes collaboration. We’re all talking and working together and without that this would never be able to be done successfully,” Solano said.

Although the situation was unexpected, Scoggins and Independence’s staff and students worked collaboratively to make sure everyone was safe.

“It was handled very well… and to have a place where we can go is awesome,” eighth grader Madie Holden said.

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