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Atlanta kids stuck in school: 94 students watched overnight, refuge from storm

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Atlanta kids stuck in school found refuge from a dangerous storm this week after a number of goodhearted teachers decided to host a massive sleepover that spread from the gymnasium to even classroom floors. After heavy snowfall threatened student safety and prevented the boys and girls from getting home, E. Rivers Elementary School officials housed 94 students within school grounds until the bad weather blew over. Today News confirms this Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, that although a number of kids were understandably frightened, most were said to have a “very fun time” under professional watch overnight.

The Atlanta kids stuck in school included a total of 94 young students and 31 adults — a majority being teachers, but some including delayed parents and bus drivers — that decided to simply wait out a heavy snowstorm instead of braving it. The night included both pizza and movies, while teachers were seen using tablecloths and coats to act as makeshift covers for students to try and catch some sleep.

Photos from the provisional sleepover also reveal a number of caring teachers giving hugs and words of comfort to the young students, telling them that the storm would blow over soon, and that they would be back with their families before long. Refuge was said to be provided for all.

Dozens of students found themselves quite literally stranded on school grounds this Tuesday afternoon once a huge winter storm began to pass through. Since the storm was not letting up by 8 p.m., the school principal decided that it was in the students’ best interest and safety to remain in the school. Reports indicate that approximately 94 students were kept overnight during the “mini snow vacation.”

According to a public statement released on these Atlanta kids stuck in school for the night and taking refuge from the weather:

“Our beautiful little snow flurries at 12, 12:30 turned into a fast-moving snow incident and we ended up having a lot of our kids that are bus riders and car riders stuck here at school with us,” he said. “We had a snowcation. A little, mini snow vacation overnight.”

The students had the chance to enjoy watching an available “Free Willy” movie while eating some popcorn, then had pizza for dinner. The next morning, Wednesday, the kids were allowed to go outside and even have a snowball fight out in the chilly Georgia snow.

“One of my students said, ‘Mr. Rogers, it’s like a party.’ Yeah, it’s like a big slumber party,” Rogers, 41, said Wednesday morning as 61 students were still at school.

“We’ve been having a good time,” said an exhausted Rogers, principal of the 670-student school for the last four-and-a-half years.

The kids spent the night on tumbling mats in the gym, using coats and even tablecloths as blankets. “I was using my dress coat,” Rogers said. “We were using anything and everything we can find.”

It was since said by Principal Rogers that this was one experience he will never forget, but one he feels brought the school community closer together.



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