Community members in McNairy County discuss school safety concerns

MCNAIRY COUNTY, Tenn. — After several school shootings have shaken the nation, many West Tennesseans are wondering if they should be worried.

“I think that probably what really shook our community up a little bit more was what happened in Marshall County, Kentucky. That’s not that far away, and if it happens there, can it possibly happen here,” asked Greg Martin, principal at Adamsville High School.

School officials say it is important to prepare for an active shooter situation, even though it was not a topic they ever thought they would have to discuss years ago.

“When I was in high school back in the 70’s and 80’s, you could walk through the parking lot and you could see the guns mounted in the back windows of your truck,” Martin said. “We had a lot of kids that did hunting, and they would go hunting before school or they were going hunting after school.”

Local law enforcement, parents, along with school and government officials came together in McNairy County, Thursday night to address the community’s concern about school safety. One option discussed was having a school resource officer in every school. Another option was having limited and patrolled access.

“It’s an interesting fact that no matter what precautions you take, the possibility of something tragic happening is still going to be there,” said Martin, “and you just have to be as prepared as one can be in a situation like that.”

Martin said if anything comes from these horrific events, it is the ability to learn and to make positive changes.

“The thing I’m most proud of is this has brought an awareness, and it’s really started a good conversation as to maybe things that are possible,” Martin said.

Community members said they encourage people to get involved and voice their opinions. They say the next open forum meeting in McNairy County will be on March 12 at the county commission meeting or on March 15 at their monthly school board meeting.

Community leaders also said the discussion on additional safety measures will also have to include how they will be funded.

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