Houston High School and Middle School students are being dismissed for the day at 12:30 p.m. after a water main break caused a power outage near the schools, Shelby County Schools administrators said.
The decision the dismiss the students was made in the interest of the students' safety, SCS said. Buses were made available for the early dismissal.
A Houston parent told FOX13 News students in the middle school and high school were sitting in classrooms with no air conditioning and in the dark for the morning since the power outage.
The school district has informed parents their child or children have been dismissed from the schools.
In a tweet on Twitter Friday afternoon, the city of Germantown said they "are unsure at this point how long water will need to be off."
"A break in a 12-inch water main at the corner of Johnson Road and Wolf River Boulevard has left homes in the area without water," said city spokeswoman Stacey Ewell. "Homes along the Wolf River Corridor between Forest Hill-Irene Road and the eastern Germantown city limits are affected.
"At 2 p.m. crews were working to control the flow of water and are unsure at this point when water service to the area will resume," she added.
Some parents, though, never received any notification about what happened or when the schools were going to be let out.
As in the famous line from the cinematic classic "Cool Hand Luke," the broken water main break apparently exposed the latest "failure to communicate" this time between the Shelby County Schools and parents of students at Houston Middle School and Houston High School.
"No, The school did not call me," said Houston parent Marie Perry. "I found out through my husband who found out on Facebook. I'm glad it's nothing more serious than an outage. Because not being notified in any way, shape or form, it's a little unsettling."
"My son contacted me via text," added Lisa Pierce, parent of Houston students. "I have yet to hear from Shelby County Schools. But, I do have friends who have heard from Shelby County Schools."
Before the full extent of the water main's break was known, it was the parents of the suddenly set free school children who were the first to be irked at the situation. Apparently, the information of the school's closing wasn't totally disseminated.
"Last year it was automated," Perry said. "You got a text message and a phone call from the automated system telling you what was going on. That school was being dismissed at a certain time for this reason or whatever."
In a week where busing issues continued to plague the system, the division is obvious between those parents who long for the way we were and those willing to give the merged operation the benefit of the doubt, at least early on.
"I think it was out of their hands," Pierce said. "I think they're doing the best they can given the time that they've been given and making the best decisions for the students."
"Are they going to know the answers?," questioned Perry. "Who you going to ask? Who you going to ask?"
FOX13 News reporter Les Smith contributed to this report.
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