Governor Deal says thanks to Westlake High School staff - CBS46 News

Governor Deal says thanks to Westlake High School staff

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ATLANTA (CBS46) -

Governor Nathan Deal visited Westlake High School in Southwest Atlanta on Tuesday to thank the staff for taking care of 450 students stranded in last week's winter storm.

"You did an admirable job, and I think it's only appropriate you be commended for what you did," Deal told a crowd in the school's media center.

Deal has formed a 30-member severe weather task force to map out how to react to future weather emergencies.

"The truth of the matter is that it is very tough to make the right call all the time," the governor told reporters. "I think all of us will probably err on the side of greater caution because we don't want these circumstances to be repeated."

Deal also said the state is now evaluating on how officials reacted to the winter weather but would not say whether anyone will be fired.

"We've done internal reviews, and we'll continue those internal reviews," said Deal. "But it's not appropriate for me to discuss personnel matters with you."

Westlake Principal Grant Rivera said there are lessons to be learned from the storm.

"Is my child safe? That's what I want to know as a parent," said Rivera. "I think that's when we can step back and say 'How do we continue to over communicate so families have peace of mind that our school is as safe at 12 noon as it is at midnight."

Parents on hand for the governor's visit said the state could have done a better job of warning residents about the severe weather.

"I think I would tell him to be a little more aware of the situation and the highways we all drive on," said Carol Klass, who spent the night at the school with her twin sons Tuesday night. "They need to proactively take care of those situations before they happen."

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