Linda Nolen Learning Center ‘not forgotten’ in storm
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
Some “miscommunication via social media” may have caused some unfounded concern about the safety of special-needs students stranded at the school during the recent snowstorm, school system and Pelham officials said during a Feb. 5 meeting.
During a Feb. 5 meeting to review Pelham’s response to the Jan. 28 winter storm, Pelham Fire Chief Danny Ray said the department was in “constant contact” with the city’s schools throughout the winter weather event, and said the department read a Facebook post claiming LNLC was in dire need of food to feed the special-needs students stranded at the school overnight from Jan. 28-29.
LNLC is a school serving Shelby County School System students with significant special needs.
“The first we found out about it was from a Facebook post that said Linda Nolen was being neglected,” Ray said during the meeting, noting the post was not made by a school administrator. “In no way do I think it was the administration that was critical of our response.”
Ray said city officials kept a running total of the number of students and faculty members stranded at each school, and said firefighters twice delivered blankets to LNLC.
Because the LNLC does not have a kitchen, Ray said he “made sure (Valley Intermediate School) had food that could be transported” to LNLC.
Shelby County School System spokeswoman Cindy Warner said the Facebook post may have caused some confusion, but said the students at LNLC were well cared for throughout the winter weather event.
“I agree with the fire chief that there might have been some miscommunication via social media,” Warner wrote in an email. “We were in constant contact with the Linda Nolen Learning Center, and were told that they had everything they needed during the storm.”
“They weren’t forgotten about. They weren’t left out,” Ray said.