Friday, September 28, faculty and staff members at Pulaski Elementary School noticed the smell of natural gas inside the building. Staff members immediately put the designated action plan into place to remove students and staff from the building, securing them outside.

The incident took place immediately before the start of lunch, which prompted Pulaski Elementary School Principal Mike Price to initiate movement of the students to Pulaski County Middle School, where they were placed in secure areas in the school and fed lunch until they were either picked up by parents/guardians or put on their regular bus to be sent home.

Pulaski County Public Schools would like to thank the many agencies who assisted in making what could have been a chaotic situation an easy transition from one school to another. Members of the Pulaski County Emergency Management Team and area Firefighters, members of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department, Pulaski Police Department, and the Pulaski County Public Schools Transportation and School Nutrition staffs, along with staff members from the Pulaski County School Board Office, assisted in keeping the students safe, secured, and fed until the situation was resolved.

At this time, Pulaski Elementary School has been cleared. Parents/guardians who need to retrieve items from their student’s classroom may go to the school where they will be checked in as normal. Parents who cannot arrive at the school before 4:30 p.m. should contact the school front office to make arrangements.

“We really appreciate the help we had today from everyone,” Principal Mike Price said. “Mrs. Smith here at the middle school was a wonderful host for our students. Having a plan in place, even when it’s one we had to modify slightly, helped make this much smoother. We’ll sit down next week and review how things went and see if we could have done anything better. For now, we’re just very grateful that we were able to safely and securely handle the situation and give our students a chance to see the middle school they’ll attend at some point.”

“The events (ruptured gas line) that occurred today at Pulaski Elementary School (PES) not only caused a huge disruption to the instructional day, but also created a lot of anxiety and stress in our students, staff and school community members,” Pulaski County Superintendent of Schools Mr. Robert Graham said. “Although this was a difficult and challenging day, I was amazed at the way the Pulaski Elementary School community responded. I am also grateful for the support that Pulaski County Middle School (PCMS) provided by opening their doors to house and feed the PES community until we could safely send PES students home. I talk about a strong school community family often to our staff, and this was a great representation of how we take care of each other during a crisis situation. The faculty and staff at both schools worked well together to ensure that all students remained calm and safe throughout the entire ordeal. We certainly are Pulaski Strong, and I am thankful to all who made great efforts to ensure that our children's safety and well-being remains the number one priority no matter what occurs during the school day.”

Students will resume a normal schedule at Pulaski Elementary School Monday.