30 years coaching experience/Worked Camps/Clinics on 5 Continents

Friday, March 9, 2012

1 in 2 million

(this part of the school is gone, students would have been located in the hallways and bathroom that no longer exist)
Yep, 1 in 2 million that is what I came up with googling "odds of being in a tornado".  Odds of an F4 tornado hitting your town?  In a town the size of Henryville, it will happen once every 7,000 years.  Hmmmm.  I wonder what they did in 5,000 BC here?

How many times have we personally had tornado warnings, heard the sirens and done little?  I am probably guessing it is a high percentage of people.  I know I am guilty of it...not anymore.

The leadership of our school/s has come under fire for allowing our students to leave 15 minutes early on March 2.  When the buses were pulling away from the school, the sirens in town were going off.  The same sirens we have heard many, many, many times and with zero times of anything happening.  Should we have allowed them to do that?  After walking around the school immediately after the hit, if students had been kept at HHS and HES, we would have been attending a few more than one funeral this week.

So let's run down some possible scenarios from Friday, March 2.

1. Administration could have released students early (only a few schools did this, most stayed in school) probably around noon or 1 PM.  Students would have been cleared from the school which had a 1 in 2 million chance of being hit by an F 4 tornado and gone home.  Not a big deal for the older students, but numerous elementary students could have gone home to homes with no parents.

Possible consequences: Young children are home without supervision and no tornado hits=administration comes under fire.

Young children are home without supervision and tornado hits=administration comes under fire.

2. Administration could have kept students at school not allowing any to leave while sirens were going off in background as is protocol for many schools and businesses.  Students take to safe places in the building.

Possible consequences: All students held after, many parents not knowing where there children are and why the buses aren't running and no tornado means admin overreacted=administration comes under fire.

All students held after, many parents not knowing where their children are and buses aren't running and tornado does hit killing many and wounding even more and buses could have pulled out getting students away from the school=administration comes under fire.

3.  Administration releases students 15 minutes with over 1000 students on their own fending for themselves against a tornado that has 1 in 2 million odds of hitting you.

Possible consequences: Many students killed and injured as bus drivers are swept against the tornado=administration comes under fire.

Zero students/teachers are killed or injured in the school, many bus drivers act bravely and some students are injured because they were home=administration comes under fire.

#3 and the last consequence is what actually occurred on March 2.  Oh to be in a position of leadership...every single consequence has administration coming under fire and someone wanting them to be fired.

My sister, Jennifer Hayes, said recently that "we all need to quit with the 'what ifs'".  I couldn't agree more.  What needs to be done, and I am pretty sure that this is going on is that we need to examine the decisions that led up to what was done on March 2, and I agree.  We need to see what was done right and what we can improve on because as you see every single decision had consequences that would leave someone asking for the head of the administration.

Some are calling what happened dumb luck on both the tornado hitting the town/school and the call to release early and that no one was injured or killed.  Some are saying that God had a hand in it.  This is what I believe: there were many things that occurred that stood out of the normal with me that saved my life, at least kept me from bad inuries.  The call to release early saved lives at the Henryville campus, you cannot argue that because I know where students would have been and I know what happened to those parts of the building.  At Borden schools, the call to keep them at school was the right one as many would have been caught immediately in the storm.

Must have been dumb luck....?