McNairy Co. parents hold open meeting to address school safety

ADAMSVILLE, Tenn. —  Following what investigators say was a recent social media threat towards students at Adamsville High School, parents and community members held a meeting Tuesday night to review their safety protocols.

Concerned parents say the latest incident is just a small part of a much larger problem. School officials said they handled the situation by making sure they were transparent with the community, but to some they say that is not enough.

Parents of the Adamsville community urged school officials to become proactive and not reactive when it comes to their children’s safety.

“I think at this at this day and time the way things are changing the way things are going it’s just too close to home,” concerned parent, Katie Emery said.

Emery also organized the meeting to start an open discussion about safety in schools. “We don’t have a SRO in the school and McNairy County doesn’t have them implemented in any of the schools,” Emery said.

City and county officials joined in the conversation. “Very good, legitimate concerns that we need to do everything we can to look at ways to address them,” director of schools, Wayne Henry said.

Many parents wanted to know why there are not any school resource officers or metal detectors in any of the schools in McNairy County. County leaders said it is a funding issue, but parents feel cost is irrelevant when it comes to security.

“These kids are our future,” Emery said. “If they’re not safe, then who’s going to fill these positions.”

County leaders said lack of financing has been a road block for McNairy County Schools, so some parents brought up the idea of raising taxes. The potential tax hike would be added to provide employment for SRO’s, or even implement metal detectors as a start.

“Maybe those things can get started and they can show the importance of how these funds can be spent to make some of our school buildings safer,” Henry said.

A county commissioner in attendance mentioned there was a proposed wheel tax back in 2016, which a portion of the funds would have gone to the school system, but that proposal was voted down. Parents said they are not looking at what happened in the past, their only goal is to focus on what is happening now.

The next step will be reaching out to county commissioners about getting more funding for schools. Parents have already started on their journey for safety measures by creating a petition to get school resource officers employed.

So far there are almost 150 supporters.

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